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Although a resident in this colony of ten years' standing, I have 
not undertaken this task, pleasant as it has been, without serious 
misgivings, knowing as I do full well that there are many far 
more competent than myself to do justice to this beautiful island. 
Trinidad is, however, daily becoming more widely appreciated, as 
evidenced by the increased number of visitors flocking here, and I 
could not help feeling that a 'Guide,' simply and plainly telling 
what there is to see, and how to see it, would not be utterly 

This little handbook is not intended, in the slightest degree, to 
rival the excellent works already in the field. Even to disclaim 
this notion is so presumptuous that I would not do it did I not 
wish to draw attention to the fact that if, in the course of these 
pages, I have awakened in the reader the desire to learn more of 
Trinidad, he could not do better than peruse the admirable books 
of Mr. Gustave Borde and Dr. de Verteuil.* 

I will take this opportunity of acknowledging my deep in- 
debtedness to the numerous friends who have rendered me willing 
assistance. Particularly with regard to Chapters VIII. and X., 
I should have been literally nowhere without the information 
gleaned and matter obtained from clergy and ministers of all the 
denominations therein mentioned. Others in different ways have 
been equally helpful. 

Doubtless, in spite of vigilance, mistakes (I am afraid not a few) 
will have crept in here and there, and in such a case I shall feel 
obliged if my readers will kindly take the trouble to set me right. 

* ' Histoire de la Trinidad,' by Gustave Borde. ' Trinidad, its 
Geography, etc. ' by the Hon. L. A. A. de Verteuil, M.D. 


To a resident in the place many of the explanations and descriptions 
will appear ridiculous and superfluous ; it should be remembered, 
however, that they are meant for strangers, to whom everything 
is novel, so that 

'All the common sights they view 
Their wonderment engage.' 

Scott : Marmion. 

In conclusion, I would remark that my great aim has been to 
issue, in a cheap form, a book that will tend to make this fair 
island 'the pearl of the Antilles,' as Lord Harris used to term it, 
better known, and I trust that my humble efforts in this direction 
will not have, been altogether in vain. 

J. H. C. 

Christmas, 1886. 


Contrary to my expectation, my first venture, in spite of its 
many faults, did not turn out an absolute failure. Having, as it 
were, hauled my little bark into winter quarters for repairs and 
alterations, I now once more launch her forth to sink or swim 
upon the waves of public opinion. In doing so, I take this oppor- 
tunity of thanking those kind friends (too numerous to mention) 
who, in rendering me yeoman service, have made my task a com- 
paratively easy one. 

J. H. C. 
August, 1888. 



















































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The lovely island of Trinidad, which is situated about 10° north 
of the Equator, between the 61st and 62nd degrees, west 
longitude, in the southern part of the Caribbean Sea, is only- 
separated from the Venezuelan coast of South America by the 
Gulf of Paria, and the narrow passages or channels of the Bocas. 
It is the second largest of the British West Indies, and being 
about 55 miles long and 40 miles broad, with an area of -l- ,750 f ? I 3 
square miles, may very fairly be compared in point of size to any 
one of the English counties of Hants, Lancashire, or Kent. 

Trinidad, when discovered by Christopher Columbus (or 
Cristobal Colon as the Spaniards call him), on his third voyage, 
was peopled by several tribes of Indians, the two chief being 
the Arouacas and the Chaimas. As in most other similar cases, 
persecution cr civilization, perhaps both, have driven before them 
these wild children of the plains, until they have become, so far 
as Trinidad is concerned, all but extinct. We, however, observe 
traces of them in the names Tamana, Guaracara, Chacachacare, 
Aricagua, Tacarigua, Arouca, etc., which indicate the localities of 
some of their- settlements. 

The same religious feeling which actuated Columbus when 
he called the first land that he hailed in the newly discovered 
hemisphere ' San Salvador : prompted him on catchiDg a far-off 



glimpse of the Three Sisters (peaks of Moruga, which are 
united at the base), to call this island Trinidad, the formation of 
the hills having suggested to him the Trinity. 

The stout-hearted navigator must have begun to lose heart, for 
on the day of the discovery he had been becalmed a week, and 
things were indeed looking serious. ' The air was like a furnace ; 
the tar melted, the seams of the ship yawned, the salt meat 
became putrid, the wheat was parched as if by fire, the hoops 
shrank from the wine and water casks, some of which leaked, 
and others burst, while the heat in the holds of the vessels was so 
suffocating that no one could remain below a sufficient time to 
prevent the damage that was taking place.'* 

It was under such distressing conditions that the weary but 
patient eyes of Columbus were, on the memorable morning of 
July 31st, 1498, rewarded by the sight of the verdant hill-tops of 
Trinidad appearing on the horizon. Prior to this the island had 
borne the Indian name of ' Iere,' or land of humming-birds. The 
natives held these little creatures in the greatest veneration, and 
would on no account allow them to be injured or destroyed. 
That ruthless fashion which, knowing no mercy, and with small 
regard for Nature's beauties, decreed that they should form an 
embellishment for ladies' bonnets, has of late caused such whole- 
sale destruction of these lovely Trochilidce that it has been found 
expedient to protect them by law. 

About ninety years after the visit of the great Genoese dis- 
coverer, the Spanish took possession of the island, and in course 
of time founded several towns, amongst others San Josef de Orufia, 
now St. Joseph, which they made their capital, following out 
their usual custom of establishing the chief town a little way 
inland, as a precautionary measure in case of invasion. It must 
be noticed, too, that they made it a practice to name places after 
favourite saints ; thus, besides the one just mentioned, they had 
San Juan de Aricagua and San Fernando de Naparima, both of 
which names have been shortened to the present ones. 
* See "Washington Irving's ' Life of Columbus.' 


Not very long after the Spanish appropriation, Sir Walter 
Raleigh, who was cruising about on his ill-starred ' El Dorado ' 
expedition, vainly seeking for the gold he was not destined 
to discover, but which has since been abundantly found on the 
adjacent mainland, coasted along the Trinidad shores, attacked 
and burnt San Josef, and took upon himself, perhaps rather 
unwarrantably, the task of punishing the new rulers for their 
inhumanity to the Indians. 

Tradition says that one of the earliest Spanish Governors, the 
Illustrious Board of Cabildo (the Executive of those days), and 
the clergy went on a certain occasion, according to annual usage, 
to see the great Indian Festival at Tamana. When in the very 
height of one of their war-dances, at a pre-arranged signal, the 
Indians uttered a piercing whoop, discharged a volley of arrows 
with deadly effect, and killed the Governor, all the priests, and 
most of the Cabildo. This tragedy must have been a terrible 
retribution for some wrongs they had suffered. 

Very interesting and curious are some of the old records of 
•the sayings and doings of the same Illustrious Board. In 1733, 
when the poverty of the inhabitants, who lived chiefly among 
the mountains round about the capital, was very great on 
account of the deficiency in the cacao crop, the Cabildo imposed 
a tax upon the people ' in proportion to their means,' to thatch 
the Cabildo Hall with palm leaves. In order to levy this tax 
fairly, a census was taken, by which it appeared that the adult 
male population numbered 162, only 28 of these being white 
persons. Slaves and Indians were not considered worthy of 
being taken into consideration at all ; they were not even 

Merchants and planters who are inclined to be despondent 
in these hard times of depression may gather a crumb of consola- 
tion from' the fact that in 1740, the cacao crop (everything then 
was cacao, not sugar), having again failed, the leading men of 
the colony petitioned their Sovereign, His Majesty of Spain, to 
send them instant relief, for that they were so destitute as to be 



unable to go to Mass more than once a year, and only then 
in borrowed clothes. This is a positive fact, but tradition, going a 
little further, states that the Illustrious Cabildo could only boast 
of one pair of unmentionables among the whole of them, which 
(tell it not in Gath) they took turns to wear ! I trust this is an 

In 1757, a certain benevolent Doctor Don Gabriel Infanta, 
who for some five years had attended the sick of the island, 
furnishing them with medicines free of charge, wished to go 
away from such unremunerative work. The Cabildo, hearing of 
his intention, begged the Governor not to allow this on any 
account, ' because,' they said, ' of the impossibility of ever having 
in this island another physician who would cure the sick gratis, 
with the care and attention of the said Don Gabriel Infanta.' 
The Doctor, who was naturally disgusted with the meanness of 
his patients, gave them the slip. The Cabildo then passed a 
resolution ' that the most active steps be taken to apprehend the 
said Don Gabriel !' I am glad to be able to say that their 
attempts were not successful, for the good man eluded their 

In 1780, a French gentleman, M. de St. Laurent, residing in 
Grenada, while paying a visit to Trinidad, was charmed with the 
fertility of the soil, which compared most favourably with that 
of the islands he knew. He made representations to the Govern- 
ment, proposed a scheme that was approved, and the result was 
the passing of a Cedilla, which led to the migration in 1783 of a 
flock of foreign agriculturists, chiefly French, but with a goodly 
sprinkling of coloured people from the neighbouring islands. 
Thus in a very short space of time, and by the wit and foresight 
of a stranger, the resources of the colony were developed, and 
the population increased to an astonishing degree. Some of the 
clauses of the Cedilla were rather curious, and would be con- 
sidered illiberal, not to say intolerant, in our days, though an 
interval of only a century has elapsed since they were framed. 
For instance, the new-comers had to profess themselves Roman 


Catholics, whatever might have been their former belief, and 
a' negro, even though free, had only half the quantity of land 
granted to him that was allotted to a white man. Other clauses 
erred in the opposite direction. Debtors landing here from other 
shores became immediately free from liability ; and proprietors, 
being allowed a premium on their slaves, sometimes inveigled free 
coloured men from other colonies, only to reduce them to a state 
of bondage when once they got them into their clutches. Grenada 
in these days seems to have had a poor opinion of Trinidad, for 
its laws insisted that all visitors from our island should ' give 
bond for their good behaviour, on their arrival, for £1,000 sterling, 
or be declared vagabonds.'* Nor was this low estimate confined to 
Grenada, for one Don Christoval de Eobles, a public official, stated 
in a memorial to Governor Picton, ' This population is mostly 
composed of refugees and desperate characters.' Allowing for 
exaggeration, it is quite possible that many knaves took advan- 
tage of the generous offer of the Government to settle themselves 
here, but these soon found their level, and beyond all question the 
scheme was a highly beneficial one. 

In the same eventful year of the Cedilla, 1783, Port-of-Spain 
became the capital, and henceforth San Josef began to decline. 
The last of the Spanish Governors, and in every respect a liberal- 
minded, amiable, and honourable man, was Don Josef Chacon, 
whose memory is perpetuated here in a two-fold way, first by the 
crimson, spike-shaped, forest shrub Chaconia (Calycophyllum), and 
again by the street in Port-of-Spain which bears his name. He 
was appointed by the Spanish Government to carry the scheme of 
M. de St. Laurent into effect, and he did it with such promptitude 
that in the course of a year or two from the passing of the Cedilla, 
the population had increased from 1,000 to over 12,000. Numbers 
of French refugees from Martinique, Guadaloupe, and St. Domingo 
settled in Trinidad, so that the latter became a French colony in 
all but name. The population was still further augmented by the 
importation of a large number of African slaves, and at a subse- 
* Joseph's ' History of Trinidad.' 


quent period by the influx of several Portuguese driven from 
Madeira by religious persecutions. 

At length, in 1797, England, being then at variance with Spain, 
sent an expedition under Sir Ralph Abercrombie and Rear- Admiral 
Harvey to capture this island. Don Chacon, finding himself out- 
numbered, surrendered without any engagement, and ever since 
Trinidad has been a British colony. The unfortunate Governor 
was tried before the Spanish Tribune at Madrid for deserting his 
post, and was banished. He died broken-hearted in Portugal, 
never' recovering the blow. 

General Picton, who as Lieutenant-Colonel had been Aide-de- 
Camp to Sir R. Abercrombie, was left in charge of the new colony, 
and he ruled it with a rod of iron. It may be that anything short 
of this would have been ineffectual in those unsettled times ; it is 
difficult and even unwise to judge a cause without being cognizant 
of all the circumstances. He was certainly prompt and energetic, 
though, without a doubt, he was severe. His method of dealing 
with those under his control reminds us more of the celebrated 
Haroun al Raschid of Arabian Nights' fame than of an English 
ruler. When informed of the misbehaviour of anyone, he would 
send for the culprit, take him to his gallery, in front of which was 
a gallows ; there he would tell him what reports had come to his 
ear, ending with the emphatic words, ' Either leave the island or 
behave in accordance with your oath of allegiance, otherwise' 
(grimly pointing to the gibbet) ' the wind shall pass between the 
soles of your feet and the earth.' 

On one occasion he called at the store of an individual who 
had formerly given him trouble, and complimenting him on his 
improved conduct, told him that if he continued the good 
behaviour he should not want for his protection. The shopkeeper, 
who had been tasting wine samples, handed some to the Governor, 
which the latter sipped and praised. Thinking to ingratiate him- 
self still further, he sent Sir Thomas Picton a cask of it as a 
present. The Governor, who. was not the sort of man to be 
bought, returned it with a note politely thanking the man, but 


saying when his (Picton's) king could not afford to give him wine 
he would drink water ! 

But we must hurry on ; this is not a history, it is merely one of 
the briefest of sketches. Where so much could be said it is not 
an easy matter to decide what shall be taken and what rejected. 
So far as I conceive it, my line is to pick out here and there 
interesting facts, especially if not generally known, which shall 
lead my readers to dip deeper into the history of Trinidad, if 
they choose, for themselves. 

Sir Ealph Woodford justly ranks as one of our greatest rulers ; 
particularly does Port-of-Spain show traces of his government. 
Whether in laying out the streets of our capital, erecting churches, 
or administering justice, he was impartial and indefatigable in all, 
and with a strong hand he set himself to put down three great 
evils : ruffianism, duelling, and gambling. 

The year 1834 should be memorable in Trinidad as the year of 
Emancipation, a proceeding which cost England the enormous 
sum of twenty million pounds ! 

Coming to more modern times, Lord Harris towers, Saul-like, 
head and shoulders above the Governors of that generation. He 
divided the island into counties and wards, placing wardens over 
the latter, with instructions to levy taxes, keep the roads in 
repair, etc. Amongst other noble works, he gave a great fillip to 
education, which had hitherto been sadly neglected. Still later 
Sir Arthur Gordon followed similar lines. 

Fully one-third of the inhabitants of the colony at the present 
time are Coolies, immigrants brought hither from India by the 
Government and indentured to the planters for a term of years. 
They are the chief labourers, having been found to work at a much 
cheaper rate than the natives, who are inclined to be lazy. 
Opinions are divided as to the wisdom of continuing to introduce 
this foreign element, and much is to be said on both sides of 
the question, but it must undoubtedly be acknowledged that at a 
time when the colony seemed to be in danger of imminent ruin, 
owing to the scarcity of labour, the immigration system stepped 


in and saved it. The remark above, alluding to the natural 
indolence of the natives, is intended to refer only to the lowest 
classes, who, as in most countries, are not too fond of work 
When, however, they can be induced to overcome this antipathy, 
and apply themselves, being strong, hearty knaves, they do it 
with an energy and zeal as refreshing as it is rare, though occasion- 
ally their zeal is not tempered with that discretion which is at all 
times desirable. 

Apropos of their strength, it is no uncommon sight in town to 
see four sturdy fellows with a huge piano on their heads, which 
they are perhaps removing from one house to another for the 
owner. They trudge along quite comfortably, and except that 
now and then they pause to wipe (with a skilful manipulation of 
the forefinger, only to be achieved by long practice) the big beads 
of perspiration from their brows, the fact of a few hundred or so 
pounds on their brain-boxes does not seem seriously to discom- 
mode them. By way of ridiculous contrast to this, you may 
frequently see a female servant walking with a bottle full of 
milk or some other liquid poised evenly on her head, as if it 
were the most natural place in the world for it She swings 
along, and yet the bottle preserves its equilibrium — how, is a 
puzzle to me. 

The Trinidadian blacks are mostly immigrants, or the children 
of immigrants, from the other "West Indian Islands and America ; 
but some, of course, are the offspring of slaves of former times, 
while others were either imported as free labourers direct from 
Africa, or are the descendants of those black troops who, on 
the disbanding of their regiments, were allotted by the Govern- 
ment small pieces of land, some at Manzanilla and others at the 

In addition to the Spanish, French, Portuguese, British, Negro 
and Indian races already mentioned as forming integral parts of 
the population, we may add Chinese, imported at first as labourers, 
but who, not taking kindly to estate work, have developed 
into gardeners and small shopkeepers. There is also a little colony 


of Germans, who are mostly well-to-do, and engaged in commercial 

As the term ' Creole ' will be much used in this little book, and 
you are sure constantly to hear it in the course of conversation, it 
will be as well to explain it, especially as it is often misconstrued 
in Europe. It is generally applied to any person born, or article 
produced, in the island. Thus you hear of a French Creole, a 
Creole of Tobago, Creole cigars, Creole horses, etc. There can be 
no doubt but that Trinidad contains as heterogeneous a mixture 
of races as it is possible to find anywhere. In an address pre- 
sented, I believe, to Sir A. Gordon, some allusion was made to this 
fact in the following lines : 

' Much bless'd by Providence is Trinidad ; 
Flowers and fruits perpetual, trees evergreen, 
Our scenery most rich and beautiful ; 
The people of all nations, countries, races, 
French, English, Spanish, Scotch, or Portuguese, 
From Afric's or fair India's hotter shores ; 
Creoles, Coolies, Chinese, their language, 
Manners, customs, everything so different.' 

Trinidad Chronicle, Jan. 28, 1876. 

The total population is probably about 180,000, of which the 
boroughs of Port-of-Spain and San Fernando contain respectively 
about 39,000 and 8,000. 

Half a century ago Trinidad boasted not of a Volunteer Corps, 
but that which is akin to it, a fine body of militia, consisting of 
Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery, mustering in all 3,000 men, of 
whom one-half constituted the first or Town Division, the re- 
mainder, comprising four divisions, being raised in the country. 
The Trinidad Militia was considered to be the best disciplined 
and most efficient body of citizen-soldiers in the West Indies, 
being not only smart at military manoeuvres, but also well-skilled 
in the use of the rifle. A few of the old members of the force 
are still living, including at least two or three who held com- 


The following, taken from Joseph's capital little ' History of 
Trinidad,' maybe interesting. I may add that the uniforms were 
gorgeous and resplendent : 

Militia Forces.— Commander-in-Chief and General Staff. 
Inspector-General and Staff. 

First Division.— Brigadier-General and Staff, Royal Trini- 
dad Light Dragoons, Royal Trinidad Artillery, Royal 
Battalion, Loyal Battalion, Diego Martin District Com- 

Second Division. — Colonel -Commandant and Staff, St. 
Joseph Mounted Chasseurs, St. Joseph Light Infantry 
Regiment (two battalions), San Juan District Com- 
pany, Arima District Battalion, Mayaro District Com- 

Third Division. — Savanetta District Troop, Pointe-a-Pierre 
and Savanetta United District Companies, Carapichaima 
District Company. 

Fourth Division. — San Fernando Mounted Chasseurs, San 
Fernando District Company, Savana Grande District 
Compan}', South Naparima Mounted Chasseurs, South 
Naparima District Company. 

Fifth Division. — Irois District Company, Oropouche Dis- 
trict Company, Cedros District Company. 


SOIL, productions, and climate. 

The soil is remarkably fertile, and indeed it may be said that upon 
its agriculture the future of Trinidad mainly depends. Sugar 
(including rum and molasses) and cacao are considered to be the 
staples of the colony. The last few years have been disastrous in 
the extreme to West Indian cane-growing colonies, which, depend- 
ing entirely upon this one product, have not had any other upon 


which to fall back. Thus Tobago, for instance, has dropped almost 
to the lowest depths of depression, and even the old colony of 
Barbados has suffered a great deal. Trinidad, having other 
resources, has fortunately so far been able to stem the tide. 
Besides these staples, Trinidad goes in for coffee cultivation, cocoa- 
nuts (including the manufacture of oil and fibre), tobacco, corn 
(maize), etc. Of the luscious tropical fruits there is a splendid 
variety, including mangoes of every description, pine-apples, 
bananas or figs, oranges, etc. The papau (papaya) possesses the 
useful faculty of making tough meat tender, a desideratum in the 
tropics, where flesh must be eaten almost while warm. The forests 
abound in valuable hard-wood trees, many of them little known in 
England, but which, having a very fine grain, are capable of a 
brilliant polish. Such timbers, for instance, as the poui, roble, 
purple-heart, balata, leopard wood, and cyp would make the 
mouth of an English cabinet-maker, or turner, water. To give an 
idea of the timber capabilities of the island, I may mention that 
Mr. Sylvestre Devenish, the Town Superintendent of Port-of- 
Spain, exhibited at the ' Colinderios ' at London, in 1886, no less 
than 235 specimens of native wood, each one accurately labelled 
with its Spanish, French and English names, besides its scientific 
name and class. 

It is impossible in a work of this kind to attempt to name the 
numerous varieties of flowers, trees, and shrubs. I will merely 
mention a few of the most striking ones that are certain to 
attract the eye. The Poui with its bright yellow, and the Bois 
Immortal with its scarlet blossoms, are amongst our finest flower- 
ing trees. The Saman, with its huge trunk and far-spreading 
branches, is invariably covered with parasites, or rather epiphytes. 
The Manchineel (Hippomane mancinella) would be a valuable 
timber if it were only possible to utilise it. It is unfortunately 
so poisonous, that even the handling of the leaves and fruit or a 
piece of the wood for a few minutes will raise a blister. The 
lianes of the forests are quite a feature. Some of them are very 
welcome to the hunter, one kind as a substitute for string ; another, 


when cut, yields a delicious stream of fresh water. Sometimes, 
however, this water is as bitter as quinine, but your experienced 
man of the woods will never make the mistake of cutting this 
kind. Other lianes, less beneficent in nature, worry and harass his 
limbs and body by holding him or catching him with their tena- 
cious thorny hooks, till he is driven to the verge of desperation. 
There is one sort in particular, known by the euphonious name of 
Boyaux-diable (devil's guts), which at times ties you up with knots 
that would almost defy the Davenport Brothers or Maskelyne and 
Cooke. The peasants have a great notion of calling useless and 
hurtful things a name compounded with that of the Arch-Deceiver; 
thus we have Devil's guts, Devil's sapodilla, etc. Another hunter's 
pest is the Croc-chien (dog's tooth), a sort of climbing palm armed 
with terribly merciless and aggressive barbs. The story goes that 
when Sir Walter Raleigh was attacking the Spanish forts at the 
mouth of the Caroni, some Spaniards, trying to escape from their 
English pursuers, being caught by these penetrating Croc-chien 
hooks, without looking back to see what was afflicting them, cried 
out in terror, ' Valga mi, Ingles!' ('Take ranson for me, English!') 
From this circumstance the Croc-chien has got the name of Valga. 
The Matapalo, or Scotch Attorney, affixing itself in the first place 
to a tree, encircles it with a network of pliant stems, embracing it 
with such ardour that the tree actually falls a victim — is hugged 
to death. The negroes many years ago used, with some humour, 
to call this ' Kotchman hugging Creole ' ; the Spaniards, however, 
not seeing the joke, gave it the more poetical name of El Ingrato. 
Medicinal plants, such as the so-called Ipecacuanha {Bastard Ipecac) 
and Castor-oil ; poisonous, as the Brinvilliers ; and perfume-pro- 
ducing, as Cape jasmine, are to be commonly seen. Food plants, 
such as maize, yam, tania, ochro, and many others of a most 
wholesome and nutritious nature, are abundant enough. 

Of the numerous orchids that are indigenous to Trinidad, the 
greater part are only of interest to botanists; but there are a 
few that are worth collecting for their curious and beautiful 
flowers, such as : 


Brassia caudala. 

Catasetum — three species. 

Cyrtopodium — two species. 

Coryanthis — three species, of which C. macranthwm (the monkey) 

is the most curious. 
Epidendrum hicornutum— grows in quantities on the Bocas 

Gongora — two species ; the flowers are like wasps. The 
G. atropurpurea obtains the name of ' Jack Spaniard ' 
from its bearing a striking resemblance, when seen at a 
distance, to the dark-coloured wasps so numerous here. 
Oncidium — four or five species, which include 0. papilio, the 
famous 'butterfly' orchid, 0. oridofolium, the pretty little 
yellow-flowered parasite, and 0. lanceanium, a pretty 
orchid, locally known as the ' Cedros bee.' 
Paphinia eristata. 
Bodriguesia secunda. 

Stanhopea grandiflora — locally called the ' lady's slipper.' 
Vanilla — from which we get the well-known pods that are so 
exquisitely odoriferous. 
I always give botanical terms in fear and trembling, lest I 
should commit myself ; as a rule, I only affect the familiar work- 
aday names, such as ordinary folks know them by. This reminds 
me of one of Mr. Carr's stories. (Mr. Carr is, by the way, a 
naturalist, amongst other accomplishments.) He says : ' One day 
I asked an old black man what, if any, common name was given 
to a pretty, pink-flowering plant (the Stachytarpheta mutabilis — 
Heaven save the mark !). The veteran replied, pointing to it, 
" Wha we caal him hea about ? — Queen Victoria dressin'-gown 
bush — da he naim, putty flower !" ' I could shake hands with that 
old black fellow ; we row in the same boat. 

There are many varieties of ferns, among which may be men- 
tioned the well-known Oleandra (tropical hart's-tongue), Adiantum 
(maiden-hair), Asplenium, and Nephrodium, with the singular Hypo- 
derris Brownii, notable as being found only in Trinidad, all fre- 


quenting the most shady nooks of Diego Martin, Maracas and 
Caura valleys ; Trichomanes and Hymenophyllurns or filmy ferns, 
in the districts of Turure and Oropouche, on rocks and tree-stems, 
and also in the shady ravines of the highest points of land, such as 
Tucutche and the heights of Aripo. 

From the foregoing list, brief and curtailed as it necessarily is, 
it will be seen that Trinidad is highly favoured with abundant 
natural advantages. Though a young and, with regard to size, an 
insignificant colony, we have thousands of acres of forest lands 
covered with valuable timber, and our soil is capable of yielding 
a profusion of fruits and vegetables. Our agriculturists are at 
last awakening to this fact, and I think there is a future in store 
for us. Jamaica is already coming well to the fore amongst the 
West Indian Islands by looking to her subsidiary industries, 
having taken the initiative in the fruit exportation line. Trinidad 
should not be slow to follow the example. It is amazing to 
Europeans how fast the vegetation grows. The writer of a capital 
little pamphlet published quite lately, referring to the soil, quaintly 
puts it as only ' waiting to be tickled by the hoe to laugh with 
fulness and plenty.' Mr. J. H. Hart, our Government Botanist, 
who came to us from Jamaica, has been to some pains to show 
that Trinidad has even more capabilities in this direction than the 
older colony. 

Nature has certainly treated us with exceptional kindness in 
bestowing upon us soils of a varied character, and therefore suit- 
able for widely differing species of vegetation. Thus, she seems 
to have specially designed Naparima, with its dark, loamy soil, to 
be the sugar country ; the sandy regions of Icacos and Bande de 
l'Este are evidently the natural home of the coco-nut, while the 
hilly districts point to cacao. 

With regard to wild animals, the woods abound in lape, agouti, 
quenck, and deer. The agouti is a rat-shaped, tailless beast, 
about the size of an English wild rabbit, the lape being somewhat 
larger; both are members of the Cavy, or guinea-pig family, and 
both being toothsome and grateful to the palate, are considered 


fair game by sportsmen. The quenck, or peccary, is a kind 
of small but ferocious wild hog. There is a sort of tree-porcupine, 
with a long prehensile tail ; the tatou, or armadillo, has a hard, 
scaly back. The manicou, or opossum (a marsupial), like the 
porcupine, betrays his proximity by emitting a powerful, unplea- 
sant odour. The great ant-eater, or sloth, though of very sluggish 
movements, catches ants by the hundred with his long tongue, 
which he covers with a slimy matter. He has immensely power- 
ful claws and arms, and woe be to the unfortunate dog that comes 
within his clutches. Having a very mournful cry, resembling the 
words, ' Poor me one,' he is known to the country people by 
that name. The Spaniards call him Matapero, or ' dog-killer.' 
Dr. de Verteuil, in his interesting book, ' Trinidad,' tells the fol- 
lowing story : 

' An African traveller met with a Matapero in the act of cross- 
ing the high-road, and mistaking it for an opossum, eagerly 
seized it by the tail, and swung it over his shoulder, congratu- 
lating himself on his good fortune. But he had reckoned " with- 
out his host," and was compelled to call for immediate assistance, 
being almost deprived of breath from the embrace of his pseudo- 

Of quadrumana there are but two species, the red monkey, or 
howler, and the white sapajou, or weeping monkey. I have often 
seen quantities of both kinds in the woods, though the sapajou is 
much more rare. The noise which the male howler makes for 
the edification of his mate is a caution to hear ; he has a curious 
cup-shaped bone in his throttle, which, I suppose, enables, or at 
any rate assists, him to make his hideous roar. Darwin suggests 
that the females are pleased or attracted by these boisterous de- 
clamations, seeming to show a preference for those who make the 
most intolerable row. Several whaling stations exist near the 
Bocas, and the whale is still occasionally caught, though not 
often. We have another cetacean that I have frequently seen in 
the Mitan or Nariva Eiver ; it is the lamantin (manali), or sea- 
cow. This is by some considered a great delicacy, perhaps mainly 



on account of its rarity ; for my part, I think I would almost as 
soon eat india-rubber. 

Dr. Leotaud considers that Trinidad contains more varieties of 
birds than any other island in the West Indies, and fully three- 
fourths of the number of species to be found in the whole conti- 
nent of Europe. 

Of the many varieties of the feathered tribes, we have the 
pelican, flamingo, hawk, vulture or corbeau, egret, guacharo, 
parrot, campanero, cornbird, toucan, and, of course, the humming- 
bird, of which there are eighteen species. The campanero, or 
' blacksmith,' is only to be met with in very lonely woods, and its 
cry resembles the sound of a good sized bell, or the stroke of a 
smith's hammer on the anvil. The toucan has rather fine 
plumage and an immense beak. The merle corbeau, or blackbird, 
performs the kindly offices for cattle that the starling does at 
home —extracting the ticks, which are very troublesome — hence 
it is known as the Tick-bird. Vampire bats are sometimes a great 
nuisance in the cattle-pen and the stable — they have been known 
to attack even man, sucking the blood of his toes. 

Reptiles are very numerous, some being of a venomous nature, 
such as the mapepire, cascabel, and coral snake. Others, like the 
macajuel (boa constrictor) and huillia {anaconda, or water boa), 
though not venomous, attain to a great size, and can be dangerous 
customers when they please. The cribo is tolerably large, but 
innocuous. Iguanas are very abundant, and esteemed delicate 
eating ; alligators, too, frequent the lonely parts of rivers. Mag- 
nificent turtles are sometimes caught on the sea-beach. As for 
frogs and toads, large and small, if you do not often see them, 
you may hear them any and every night in the wet season ; for 
they are highly musical, and are constantly giving nocturnal open- 
air concerts. 

As regards insects, their name is Legion. Myriads of fire-flies 
sparkle here and there in the darkness of evening. Butterflies 
and moths, a few of large size and resplendent beauty, as the 
page and morpho ; the locust (fortunately we have only very 


rare visits of the destructive species) ; its relation the grass- 
hopper j the cigale or cicada, with its prolonged note beginning 
p.p., cresc, till it reaches ff, then dim., and so on repeatedly, a 
sure precursor of the rainy season ; the aggravating tick, spiders, 
small and big beetles, scorpions, centipedes, ants, bees, mosquitos, 
sandflies, etc., all these are to be seen or heard more or less 
frequently. Our wasps must be members of the Craft, for they 
are born masons, constructing their houses ingeniously with 
muddy cement of their own manufacture. 

Oysters are plentiful, and are good eating during the dry 
weather ; in fact, their season is almost identical with that of the 
' natives ' at home. The chip-chip, a sort of small cockle, gives 
an excellent flavour to soup. 

We have many varieties of salt-water fish, some of which are 
very delicate eating, such as the king-fish, Spanish mackerel, 
lebranche, mullet, and salmon. Of the larger kinds may be 
mentioned the grupa, barracouta, and shark. Besides the above, 
there are the chouf-chouf (tetraodon), sword-fish, saw-fish and 
sting-ray, etc. The tail of the last-named can be used as a whip, 
it is so exceedingly pliant and durable. Immense numbers of 
crabs are found, some of a pugnacious turn of mind ; cray-fish 
too, and shrimps of a large size and delicious flavour. One fresh- 
water fish is quite a curiosity, for it has a coat of mail — the 
cascadoura or cascadou. It is esteemed a great delicacy, but if 
you are at all inclined to be' superstitious you had better give it 
a wide berth, for there is a saying here, that he who eats of it 
must sooner or later die in Trinidad. In case you may have 
innocently partaken of it without knowing the terrible conse- 
quences, allow me to assure you that your end is in no way 
precipitated by that fact ; it is only recorded in the Book of Fate 
that your decease must take place within the island. You may 
try to battle with the inevitable by going to the uttermost parts 
of the earth, but n'importe, back you will be drawn by an irre- 
sistible fascination. If you are so incredulous as not to believe 
this, then take the earliest opportunity of sitting down to a 



dish of cascadou — dressed as only the Creoles know how — and 
test the truth of the saying for yourself. 

Finally, to quote again from Joseph's 'History of Trinidad,' 
' This is a land of wonders. We have lakes of pitch ; streams of 
tar ; oysters growing on trees ; animals with pouches to shelter 
their young ; one fish, or animal resembling a fish, that produces 
its young alive, and gives suck ; crabs that mount on and feed in 
fruit trees; other fish that entertain us with a concert; and 
lastly, one kind of fish clad in an elegant suit of armour.' 

The oysters growing on trees refer to the oysters which attach 
themselves to the roots of the mangrove ; animals with pouches, 
the manicou or opossum ; a fish producing its young alive, the 
shark ; crabs mounting trees, the soldier crab ; concert-giving 
fish, the trumpet fish, which has the power of making a resonant 
sound ; the armour-clad one, the cascadou. 

Turning to the mineral products, the so-called Pitch Lake at 
La Brea plays an important part in the commerce of the island. 
Traces of coal have been discovered, but as yet nothing has been 
done in that quarter, owing to the heavy outlay that would be 
requisite to successfully carry out the mining operations. Quick- 
silver has been found from time to time in small quantities in 
the Dry Eiver basin near Port-of-Spain. Limestone, excellent 
material for road-making and building purposes, is obtained 
abundantly from the quarries near town. Fine specimens of 
crystallized quartz, with its tiny symmetrical hexagonal pyramids 
may be picked up any day in the neighbourhood of the mountains, 
while in the St. Joseph and Naparima hills are strata of gypsum. 
Mineral springs occur here and there — one in the Maracas 
Valley emitting a strong smell of sulphuretted hydrogen ; another 
at Point-a-Pierre, containing traces of oxide of iron, sulphate of 
magnesia, etc. ; a third in the Santa Cruz River, quite near the 
large bridge ; and a fourth with petrifying properties on the 
Cameron lands at Diego Martin. 

The wet season lasts about five or six months, commencing as 
a rule early in June. The average rainfall per year during the 


last twenty-five years (1862 — 1886), has been 65-£ inches, the 
"wettest month being generally August.* The mean temperature 
for 1887 was 77 - 4°, the minimum being 63°, and maximum 
91°, a variation of only 28°. This is very trifling as com- 
pared with England, where the thermometer on January 2nd of 
the same year fell to 15 - 5°, and rose on July 4th to 92'2°, a 
difference of 76 '7°. 

During the months of heavy rain, streams become rivers, and 
rivers torrents, which, however, quickly subside. We have 
no experience of spring, autumn, or winter ; throughout the 
year it is one continual round of glorious summer brightness. Of 
course, we miss the pleasant chatty twilight time, nor do .we get 
the long summer evenings ; the time of sunset varies only to the. 
extent of one hour, being from 5.30 to 6.30, and as soon as the 
last gleam of sunlight disappears below the western horizon, 
night is swift to assert her rights over day. The evenings and 
early mornings are so delightfully cool and springlike, that it is 
difficult to imagine one's self in the tropics. Here, if anywhere, 
is the old-fashioned maxim, ' Early to bed and early to rise,' one 
to be honoured in the observance, although it must be confessed 
that the first part is somewhat disregarded. Physical exercise is 
a positive necessity, even with a temperature of from 80° to 90°, 
and I cannot help thinking that if Europeans out here, and West 
Indians, too, for that matter, walked a little more, it would be 
better for their livers. As it is, the Creole saying, ' Never walk 
when you can ride, never ride when you can drive,' is observed 
as religiously as though it were a part of the Decalogue, especi- 
ally by those nearing the undefinable period of middle-age. 
Cricket and tennis are nevertheless played here every bit as 
ardently as in England, and the Trinidadian youths are not a 
whit behind the age in their handling of the willow and trund- 
ling the leather. In fact, in most of the more manly exercises' 
and sports, such as cricket, polo, riding and swimming, they 

* From statistics published in Trinidad Royal Gazette, Jan. 18, 1888, 
by Mr. J. H. Hart, F.L.S., Supt. Botanical Dept. 


appear very much to advantage. I mention this as showing that 
we can and do indulge freely in active out-door recreations 
without detriment or danger. 

The water supply of Trinidad, or of its chief town, at any 
rate, is both sufficient in quantity and good in quality. The 
water is accumulated in large reservoirs from the Maraval and 
St. Ann's Rivers, and conveyed thence by main pipes to different 
parts of the town. In my own household, I always insist upon 
filters being used for the drinking water, not that this is abso- 
lutely imperative, for probably a large majority of the consumers 
do not adopt this precaution, and yet suffer no evil results from 
it. No matter how pure spring water may seem to the naked 
eye, to a moral certainty it contains more or less organic matter, 
even though the latter may not be visible without the aid of a 
microscope. San Fernando, too, has a fair supply, but it does not 
find favour generally, and it must be confessed that while doubt- 
less not actually deleterious, it contains rather too much mineral 
(tarry) matter to be pleasant. 

■ Taking it altogether, the water of Trinidad is quite equal and 
in some cases superior to that of the neighbouring colonies, and 
without any doubt, as regards quality, it compares favourably 
with that of Georgetown, in British Guiana, where the Lamaha 
water is the colour of Scotch whisky. During the exception- 
ally long dry season of 1885, when some of the West Indian 
islands suffered severely from drought, Trinidad fared tolerably 
well. Each of the lovely valleys in the northern ridge of 
mountains, Diego Martin, Maraval, Santa Cruz, Maracas and 
Caura has its meandering stream of deliciously cool, refreshing 
water, now rippling round huge boulders of quartz, now leaping 
with a bound down steep precipices, now broadening into an 
almost enclosed basin, and again narrowing into the merest 
streamlet, but always through a luxuriance of growth that 
charms the eye. 

The climate of Trinidad, which has been much maligned, is in 
reality very salubrious, but it must be admitted that there were 


formerly ample grounds for the prejudice which existed against it. 
Not so many years ago, Europeans who left their mother-country 
to settle in any of the West Indian colonies ran a serious risk of 
shortening their lives. The draining of swampy lands, and the 
formation of roads, thus encouraging the clearing and planting out 
of the country districts, together with proper sanitary regulations 
strictly enforced in the towns, have done much to bring about an 

I have just come across a book lately published, entitled, 'A 
West Indian Sanatorium,' in which the author strongly advo- 
cates Barbados as a suitable place of residence for invalids, and 
elderly persons who, having no specific disease, yet feel them- 
selves gradually running down. The writer makes out a very 
good case, and I have no doubt that Barbados is all that his fancy 
paints her; but in many respects he might have been talking 
of our island, except that Trinidad is infinitely superior in land- 
scape beauties. Our climate is quite as good, and our sea-bathing 
nearly as accessible. There is nothing in Barbados to compare 
with our lovely verdure-clad hills, with their shady nooks and 
sparkling cascades. Our hotels now are as spacious and accommo- 
dating (I do not say they have always been so), and there is 
little difference between the cost of living in the two islands. 
In short, invalids or persons of weakly constitution, particularly 
if suffering from bronchial affections, and desirous of escaping 
the bitterness of an English or American winter, might do much 
worse than resort to Trinidad during that inclement period. 
The temperature is equable, varying on an average from 70° to 
85° (Fahr.). The insular position of Trinidad, and its proximity 
to the Atlantic Ocean, both tend to make it cooler and less liable 
to extreme heat than if it were an undetached part of a conti- 
nent. The prevailing wind during the dry season is easterly, 
and it is a joy to us, not a dread, as at home ; for the broad 
Atlantic clips its biting keenness, and its refreshing coolness 
breathes to us renewed vitality and vigour. Nature has still further 
blessed us by placing us just outside the borders of the hurricane 


and cyclone regions. "We have no earthquakes worth mentioning; 
violent storms are rare, and cases of sunstroke almost unknown. 
With so many natural advantages, it will indeed be surprising if 
Trinidad in time to come does not become one of the most fashion- 
able places of winter resort for well-to-do Europeans and Ameri- 
cans. The competition between the various companies whose 
steaniers regularly ply hitherward, has been the means of giving 
the public not only more frequent opportunities of transit, but 
reduced rates, and the result is, that during the past twelve months 
there has been a noticeable increase in the number of visitors to 
our shores. 

In selecting wearing apparel for the tropics, I recommend either 
blue flannel or tweed. I should strongly advise flannel next the 
skin, it being, in my humble opinion, a safeguard against cold or 
fever. This is a wise precaution which should be taken in all 
countries where the rain comes suddenly down upon you almost 
without warning, and drenches you to the skin before you can 
turn yourself round. I hope the word ' fever ' will not alarm my 
readers ; there are fevers and fevers. I have surely said enough 
to show that the climate of Trinidad as a whole leaves little to be 
wished for, and, with all my innate love for dear old England, I 
am bound to acknowledge that my memory retains dismal recol- 
lections of whole days and weeks when old Sol scarcely deigned 
to put in the slightest appearance. Trinidad has long ceased to 
be the stronghold of yellow fever and cholera that Captain Marryat 
and other writers of the last generation used to depict it. The 
former scouige of the West Indies is happily only rarely met with 
nowadays, and its modern representative is of a much less virulent 
type than the original. With ordinary care of himself, a man is 
just as likely to live out his span here as in the old country; 
perhaps the chances are more in his favour ; but then he must 
avoid rash and foolish errors, and, above all, he must not despise 
or disregard good advice. 

There is a notion only too prevalent amongst young men, par- 
ticularly if new to the colony, that constant cock-tails and pick- 


me-ups are a downright necessity. If they lead a laborious out- 
door life, as do estate-overseers, taking meals irregularly and so 
on, the temptation to fly to what appears to be a temporary 
stimulant in the form of a shot of grog is strong. The line of 
demarcation between moderation and excess is at such times 
narrow and ill-defined. Hence, when outraged Nature gives way 
under the severe strain, the sorrowing relations at home hear that 
he has fallen ' another victim to the climate.' Poor Climate ! like 
the Hebrew scapegoat, you have to answer for the sins of others. 
People cannot deny that this is a fact, but they have not the 
moral courage to confess it, for obvious reasons. I would strongly 
urge upon all visitors in the tropics the strictest moderation, if 
not total abstinence, and I speak from experience. After spend- 
ing nearly eleven years within ten degrees of the equator, during 
which time I have been day after day in the woods and swamps 
hunting during my holidays, I am thankful to be able to say 
that, without the slightest assistance from alcoholic stimulants, I 
have an unimpaired constitution (liver all right !), with a chest 
and biceps that would not altogether disgrace one of Pickford's 



The first thing to be done, when a man makes up his mind to 
visit ' furrin parts,' is to decide how he shall get to them. For the 
benefit of any of my readers who may wish to ascertain the ways 
and means of reaching Trinidad, it will be as well to give a state- 
ment with regard to the different lines whose steamers run with 
more or less regularity to Trinidad from Europe and America. 
The vessels of the Eoyal Mail Company are so well known, that it 
would be superfluous to expatiate upon them. The accommoda- 


tion, treatment and social comfort on board are such as to reduce 
to a minimum all those evils attending a voyage which formerly 
were the terror of the sickly and timid. The other companies 
which offer lower rates cannot be expected to reach the high 
standard of perfection attained by their older rival, but yet they 
are exceedingly comfortable and well-arranged, and in every one 
of them, no matter of what line, the passenger may a " be sure of 
being treated by the officers with courtesy and attention. The 
fares mentioned usually include the use of bedding and linen, 
steward's fees, and all other charges, except for wines, spirits, 
malt liquors, and mineral waters. The Royal Mail steamers 
invariably carry a doctor. This company offers the advantages of 
tourist-tickets, by which the traveller may spend five, seven, nine, 
eleven, thirteen, and even fifteen weeks cruising about the West 
Indies, Mexico, and Central America, stopping a few days here 
and there, the charge varying from £45 to £83 5s. (See ' Tourist 
Guide to West Indies, etc.,' to be obtained gratis from agents of 
the E.M.S.P. Company.) No traveller with time and money at 
his command should visit Trinidad without taking a trip up 
the far-famed Orinoco. Here is to be seen forest life in the 
very height of its awful grandeur, and the facilities offered 
by more than one line of steamers render it quite easy of 

Royal Mail Steam Packet Company. — (Moorgate Street, 
London. Trinidad Agents : Messrs. F. J. Scott and 
Son, St. Vincent Street). Vessels leave Southampton 
every alternate Thursday. Return steamers leave Trini- 
dad every alternate Saturday, with an occasional extra 
one, which, although termed a ' Cargo Boat,' is first-class 
of tonnage, and in every respect equal to other R.M. 
steamers. These ' Cargo Boats ' generally touch at 
Grenada and St. Lucia, proceeding from the latter direct 
to Havre and London. The single fare is £25, £35, or 
£43 10s. ; return, available for twelve months, is £40, 


. £52 10s., or £65 5s. The mail steamer once a month 
goes on to La Guaira, arriving on Sunday morning, and 
leaves again on Wednesday. Travellers should go to 
La Guaira first, then return to have a look over the 
island, or take a trip up the Orinoco. A monthly 
steamer goes to Tobago, remaining a week to return for 
mails. The ' Cargo Boat ' goes from here to Venezuela, 
thence to Colon, returning by the same route. .Facilities 
are afforded for the landing of passengeTS at Plymouth, 
Cherbourg, and Southampton, or they may obtain 
tickets on board from the Purser for either Paris or 

Compagnie Generale Transatlantique. — (Trinidad Agent: 
Mr. L. P. Gueydan). A mail steamer leaves St. Nazaire 
on the 10th of every month, connecting on the 23rd at 
Martinique with the Inter-colonial steamer, which goes 
to St. Lucia, Trinidad, Demerara, Surinam, and Cayenne, 
returning here on. the 8th of every month to connect 
again at Martinique with the homeward-bound Atlantic 
boat. Another mail steamer leaves Havre on the 22nd, 
and Bordeaux on the 25th of each month, calling here 
about the 1 2th, on its way to Carupano, La Guaira, 
Puerto Cabello, Savanilla, and Colon, returning here on 
its homeward route on the 28th. A 'Cargo Boat,' 
leaving Marseilles on the 4th of every month, connects 
also at Martinique with the Inter-colonial steamer 
leaving that island on the 24th. 

London Direct Line. — (Messrs. Scrutton and Co., 9, Grace- 
church Street. Trinidad Agents : The Colonial Company, 
South Quay.) Two or three steamers per month leave 
London during Crop Season, calling at Dartmouth for 
passengers. Single fare, £20 ; return, £35. A reduction 
for families. 


West India and Pacific; Steamship Company. — (The 
Temple, Dale Street, Liverpool. Trinidad Agents : The 
Colonial Company, South Quay.) Vessels leave Liver- 
pool three Saturdays out of every four. Single fare, £20 ; 
return, £35. Communication with Venezuela, Colon, 
Caracas, etc. 

Haepjson Line.— (Messrs. E. Bulman and Co., 18, Chapel 
Street, Liverpool. Trinidad Agents : Messrs. J. N. 
Harriman and Co.) This line works in conjunction 
with the West India and Pacific, taking the same 
routes, thus affording a regular weekly service on 
Saturdays from Liverpool. Single fare, £20; return, 

Clyde Steamship Company. — (Messrs. Caw, Prentice, 
Clapperton, and Co., Glasgow. Trinidad Agents : Messrs. 
Turnbull, Stewart, and Co., The Wharf.) One steamer 
monthly (in the busy season an extra one) leaves Glasgow, 
proceeding direct to Trinidad. 

Atlantic and West India Line. — (Messrs. Leaycroft 
and Co., 140 and 142, Pearl Street, New York. 
Trinidad Agents : Messrs. Clairmonte and Co., Marine 
Square.) One steamer monthly between New York 
and Trinidad. 

Orinoco Line. — (Trinidad Agent : Mr. E. Lee, King Street.) 
The steamer Bolivar leaves Trinidad twice a month, 
going up the Orinoco as far as Ciudad Bolivar, connect- 
ing, both as regards arrival and departure, with the 
Royal Mail. 

Quebec Steamship Company. — (Trinidad Agents : Messrs. 
Clairmonte and Co., Marine Square.) Through tickets 
issued between London, Liverpool, and Trinidad, vid 
New York, for $155 (about 31 guineas); or between 


Bremen or Havre and Trinidad, also vid New York, for 
$165 (about 33 guineas). This includes all transfer of 
passengers and luggage and two days' accommodation at 
a first-class hotel. The Orinoco and Trinidad s.s. are 
two very fine vessels, fitted with electric light, bells, and 
all the new appliances. 

Dutch Royal Mail Service.— (Konenklijke West Indische 
Maildienst. Trinidad Agents : The Colonial Company, 
South Quay.) Steamers leave Trinidad on the 16th 
of every month for Demerara, Surinam, Cayenne, 
etc., returning here about the 6th of the following 

Ciudad Bolivar Line.— (Trinidad Agent : Mr. E. P. Masson, 
South Quay.) A steamer monthly to and from Caru- 
pano, Ciudad Bolivar, Cumana, La G-uayra, etc. 

Most of the British steamers take from fourteen to sixteen 
days for the voyage ; the cabin accommodation is good, and the 
table liberally spread. Return tickets are available for twelve 

Formerly Trinidad was notoriously badly supplied with hotels, 
so that travellers hesitated . to come here when not actually com- 
pelled by business. We have, however, progressed in this as in 
other matters, and the visitor has now a very fair choice. Of the 
old ones long in the field, the H6tel de Paris in Marine Square is 
generally considered to rank first, though some others are little, 
if at all, inferior. Quite recently two new ones have been erected 
and are now opened : one the American Hotel, a spacious building 
opposite the Post Office in St. Vincent Street, and the other the 
comfortable Family Hotel, next the Ice Establishment in King 
Street. The tariff at the best ones is two dollars (8s. 4d.) per day, 
or forty-five dollars per month (£9 7s. 6d.), which cannot be con- 
sidered exorbitant. There are some highly respectable boarding- 
houses where a gentleman or lady may put up at a lower rate, but 


of course the style of living and the surroundings are more homely. 
Most of the best hotels have the telephone attached, and are 
furnished with all the modern appliances of convenience and com- 
fort which tend to make life easy. 

Comparing Trinidad with British Guiana and West Indian 
Islands, house rent is rather higher, while clothing and provisions 
are at about the same rates. Servants' wages are much like those 
of Demerara, but higher than in Barbados ; as a rule the domestics 
find their own food. 

Cook's wages per month ... $ 6 to % 8. 

Butler's „ ,, ... $ 5 to $ 7, if a female. 

Ditto „ „ ... $ 8 to $10, if a male. 

Groom's „ „ ... $10 to $12. 

A pleasant six-roomed house in town costs about thirty dollars 
a month. Rents vary from thirty to sixty dollars according to the 
size of the house. 

The shops, or stores, for we give them the American name, 
are well stocked, and the competition is keen enough to bring 
the prices down to a reasonable rate. Though the English 
coinage is that used, money is generally calculated in dollars 
and cents. 

10 cents or halfpence = 1 bit (5d.). 
10 bits = 1 dollar (4s. 2d.). 

You will occasionally hear of stampees or half-bits. It is rather 
amusing sometimes to listen to the bargaining arguments and 
altercations in the shops. Formerly (the practice is dying out 
now), a private mark, indicating the price, was placed upon art 
article for sale, and the clerk (the word ' shopman ' is tabooed in 
Trinidad) was allowed to get as much as he could from the customer 
above the figure named. Consequently, a stranger would, on 
occasions, be abominably fleeced where the wily Trinidadian, who 
is up to the dodge, would not be caught. I have often witnessed 


instances like the following : A Creole peasant woman, who, how- 
ever, must be called a lady (custom insists upon it), goes into a 
dry-goods or drapery store and pointing to a cretonne or some- 
thing of the sort : 

Lady : ' How you does sell dis V 

Clerk (not shopman, mind !) : ' Sixty cents, madam, best 
quality !' 

Lady: 'Eh, eh ! You is tink me foolish V 
Cleric : ' Well, I'll give it you for half a dollar.' 
Lady, without condescending a reply, sucks her teeth, with an air 
of supreme contempt, wheels round and proceeds to leave the store 
with much dignity — when nearing the street — 
Clerk: ' Here, madam, take it for four bits !' 
The lady relents at once : she was expecting the offer, and would 
have been disappointed at not receiving it ; but, still, with a view 
to keeping up appearances, and not to come off her stilts too 
readily, she says, with an air of indifference, ' Gie me, quick now, 
ain't have no time to waste,' and becomes the happy purchaser of 
the coveted bit of print. 

In the foregoing dialogue it will have been noticed that one of 
the parties 'sucked teeth.' This is a most impressive form of 
speech, and means volumes. You require to see it to appreciate 
its full significance. Whole pages, quires, reams of words could 
not express more forcibly disgust or withering contempt than 
does this apparently harmless and facile proceeding. I commend 
it to your powers of observation whenever you may meet 
with it. 

King and Frederick Streets, the main business thoroughfares 
of the town, contain the principal stores, which will vie with any 
to be found in the West Indies. Recently two new good book 
dep6ts have been opened. The groceries are well supplied with 
eatables, the Trinidad small penny loaves of bread being exceed- 
ingly toothsome. In one branch of trade we are lacking : we 
have no fishmongers' or greengrocers' shops ; for vegetables and 
fish we must send to the market. Here is a field open to some 


enterprising individual, and only a small capital would lie 
required. The nice clean marble slab with our local salmon, 
king-fish, mackerel, cray-fish and splendid prawns, on one side, 
and another department with salads, radishes, cabbages and 
other vegetables, would, I think, induce people to buy from the 
very fact of seeing them spread out for sale. 

I would recommend you, if you mean staying in Trinidad two 
or three months with the intention of seeing all there is to see, 
to start at once with a horse and buggy of your own, or at any 
rate a horse, otherwise you will find yourself hampered at every 
movement, if you have to hire or borrow continually. A decent 
horse or strong Spanish pony costs from $100 to $200 (say £20 
to £40). If you feed him well and groom him properly, he will 
not only be of good service to you, but when you have done with 
him will fetch a fair price. This is certainly"preferable to con- 
stantly hiring, for, the animal is always at your disposal. A 
second-hand buggy would cost about the same as a horse, perhaps 
a little less. If you buy both for three hundred dollars and sell 
them for two 'hundred and fifty, you may rest contented you will 
have had a good fifty dollars' worth out of them. Most of 
the private houses of any size are provided with stabling 

It will be a good plan, especially if you are touring in the 
West Indies, to deposit before leaving England as much money 
as you think you will need, in the Colonial Bank, Bishopsgate, 
getting a letter of credit, by which you will be able to draw what- 
ever you may require at any of the West Indian branches. This 
will be the more advisable as each British colony has its own 
notes, which are not as a rule cashed at par except in that par- 
ticular colony. English gold is acceptable everywhere, but it is 
inconvenient to be burdened with a quantity of it. 




You will be a very short time in Trinidad before you have made 
the acquaintance of the mosquito. He is persevering in the 
pursuit of his prey, he is insatiable, and he is a great gourmand. 
If you are clear-skinned, rosy-complexioned, with a good circula- 
tion of European blood coursing through your veins, rely upon it 
before you have been twenty-four hours in the colony, Mr. 
Mosquito will have spotted you, breakfasted, dined and supped 
very much at your expense, taking several courses at each meal. 
After your first night here you will wake up in the morning 
finding to your surprise that, in spite of netting and other pre- 
ventive measures you may have taken, your face is speckled with 
bumps, which you have an irrepressible desire to scratch and rub. 
However, you must consider this a compliment. He has given 
up his everyday withered and dried up West Indian fare for what 
is to him a sort of ice-ship luxury. Leave the bumps to them- 
selves and they will soon be all right ; or rub a little lime-juice 
(limes are plentiful enough here) on the irritating part, but do not 
scratch it. If- you want mosquitos in all their glory, go into the 
woods for a day's hunting, especially near swampy land. They 
are simply merciless, and bite through any amount of clothing. 
Once, acting under advice, I tried what smearing the face, neck 
and hands with coco-nut oil would do. Horrors ! the remedy 
aggravated the disease ! After all, there is nothing like putting 
up with an evil when you cannot help yourself ! One variety of 
torment, alleged to be a mosquito, causes a painful sore when it 
bites, and in a week or two a tiny carrot-shaped worm forms in 
the spot. I lived eight years in the colony without making its 
acquaintance ; at length I was favoured with an introduction, and 
have no desire to renew the intimacy. 

A good story is told in the ' West Indian Sketch Book ' of the 
mosquito. One of these incorrigible tormentors of new-comers 



had settled on a gentleman's nose, whose erubescence indicated 
luxurious habits, and as quickly departed. 'Eh! me Gad!' ex- 
claimed a servant with vociferous exultation, addressing himself 
to the vagrant bloodsucker ; ' eh ! eh ! You no 'top dere long, 
you burn you foot, eh ?' 

As Herbert Smith humorously puts it in his charming book : 
' If the mosquito were only susceptible to moral suasion ! But 
he is as heartless as the New York small boy ; he laughs at your 
torments, and makes merry with your woe, and dances diabolically 
on his hind legs to see you slapping yourself, and grins when you 
gnash your teeth.'* 

A smaller pest, though one seldom met with in town, is the 
sandfly. It requires a pretty good eyesight to see these little 
creatures, though they may be swarming in the atmosphere 
around you. It is not until you have felt a series of itchings, 
now on the face, now on the hand, or on any part of the body 
which may be exposed, that you make the discovery that sandflies 
are bothering you: They will, however, only annoy you at early 
morning and in the evening, if at all. The}' have their favourite 
localities in the island, preferring, like the mosquito, marshy 
spots. The country people set fire to ' bush,' that is, dried leaves 
and twigs or coco-nut husks — anything that will smoulder well, 
and the smoke drives away the enemy. It is an open question 
which of the two evils is the lesser. 

There is a still more diminutive pest in the shape of b6te- 
rouge. A beast he is in truth, and withal red, though you cannot 
often get a glimpse of him. He makes an attack on your legs, 
socks or stockings being no obstacle to him, and, as you cannot 
easily discern him, you scratch away until you produce an excoria- 
tion, when your fancied evil becomes a reality. The bete-rouge 
frequents coarse grass, disturbing grazing animals considerably, 
who, poor things, get this wretched little torment on their noses 
as well as their limbs. Happily, we are not troubled very much in 

* ' Brazil,' by Herbert H. Smith. 


Trinidad with this creature, but I mention it in order that you 
may recognise it should you meet with it. 

We have another curiosity in the shape of the chigo (pulex 
penitrans, or penetrating flea), an insect of the flea type, but 
rounder in shape and with a harder epidermis. It is very small, 
and buries itself in the feet, generally in the toes. At first the 
sensation is rather pleasant, and suggests mild chilblains to you. 
In the next stage it begins to be aggravating, and you had better 
evict your new tenant in as summary a manner as possible. 
Some of the Creole and coolie servants are adepts in the art of 
extracting ' jiggers,' and when the operation is well performed, 
the sensation is charming. The object the chigo has in insert- 
ing itself is to deposit its eggs, and the grand thing is to get 
out the bag of larva? intact. When you see Lutchmee the coolie, 
or Lucinda the black butler, triumphantly displaying the little 
round bag whole and entire on the point of a pin or needle, you 
feel that an operation has been successfully carried through 
which involved skill, delicacy, and not a little science. 

Besides these tiny robbers and assassins, we have some larger 
ones, such as scorpions, centipedes, ants and spiders. Taking 
them in inverse order, the only harmful spider is the hairy- 
legged gentleman — the tarantula. I have seen two kinds, the 
black and the white. I believe the bite is rather severe, though 
I have never known of any case. On one occasion, when ascend- 
ing an outdoor staircase leading into my house, I felt something 
alive had fallen upon my neck from a tamarind tree, whose 
branches hung overhead. Not being blessed with optics at the 
back of my cranium, I quietly hurried in, and getting my better 
half to find out what it was, I was rather disconcerted to hear it 
was a tarantula. However, my wife deftly whisked it off, and 
nothing ensued except the death of the interloper. 

Ants are abundant and harmless enough, the most common 
being 'crazy ants,' so called from the apparent aimlessness of 
their zigzaggy movements. I need scarcely say that there is 
a great deal of method in their madness, as you will see for your- 



self. Spill any eatable on the ground, and the scouts of these 
industrious little fellows will spy it out in a very few moments, 
report upon it to their superiors, and in no time a whole army 
will be clearing it up — taking it away — forage for the future. 
Some morning you may find your rose-tree stripped of its 
foliage, and looking about, you will discover a long line of ants 
marching away in file, each with his leaf, or part of one, stuck 
up like a sail or banner. These are ' Parasol ' ants. Some 
ants, bite a little, others sting ; one larger than the rest, and more 
accomplished, does both. 

Centipedes are more common than scorpions, and some of them 
of pretty fair size, being from eight to ten inches long. Fowls are 
extremely "fond of them, and catch, kill and eat them with 
dexterity. The bite of the centipede, like that of the scorpion, is 
anything but pleasant. As a Yankee wag says, the effect is as 
startling as when one unwittingly sits on the ' business ' end 
of a tinned-tack. The black scorpion is particularly virulent, 
but happily the species is rather rare. 

Cockroaches and mole-crickets are ugly in appearance, but so 
common that you will soon get used to them. The former are 
extremely voracious, and having marvellous digestive organs, 
are not over-particular whether their pabulum be old newspapers, 
books, the lining of your Sunday beaver, or your patent leather 
boots ; all is grist that comes to their mill. It is said that once, 
when times were very bad, and qockroaches, like other animals, 
were hard put to it to sustain life, they even went so far as 
to devour the edge of a razor ! I do not vouch for this ! Mole- 
crickets have an objectionable habit of knocking against you 
in the course of their flight. A friend of mine, who is a 
naturalist, assures me that they have gizzards. Here I feel that 
an apology is due for my ignorance. Prom observation, I am 
tolerably familiar with the habits and ways of these little 
specimens of animal life, but mine is the knowledge gained by 
experience, and not from books. I am scarcely able to give the 
scientific name of one of them. When asked the question, 


' What is the mosquito V I answer, 'A sort of gnat.' And con- 
versely. This is, doubtless, disgraceful in a Dominie ; but I will 
venture, with all humility, to suggest that perhaps I have as real 
an acquaintance with them from what I have picked up by using 
the powers of observation the Creator has given me, as if I had 
stayed at home and read a dozen books. 



The term ' lower classes ' might, of course, include all of humble 
origin, whether Creoles, Coolies, Chinese, or what not. It is 
intended in the present instance to let it apply, unless otherwise- 
stated, to the native portion of the community. 

It must often strike visitors as being a remarkable feature, 
that with an apparent abundance of available material, West 
Indian planters are still compelled. to import labourers all the way 
from the East Indies. I will, in a few words, endeavour to give 
the reason. 

The lowest classes of the population may be roughly divided 
as regards estate work into three classes : 

No. 1. Those who will not work. 
,, 2. Those who do little or no work. 
„ 3. Those who work regularly. 

No. 1. Those who will not condescend to estate labour 
generally find some good soil, where water is handy, and build 
there a little shanty of timber with roseau partition laths, thatch- 
ing it with palm leaves. Here, if the spirit moves them, they 
now and then dig an hour or two, planting maize, tanias, bananas 
— anything that gives no trouble. In the early morning, or on a 
bright moonlight night, they go out with an old fowling-piece, 
and a lean, mangy, half-starved cur, to pick up a stray deer, 


quenck, or lap, or it ma}' be a ' wild-tame ' (a neighbour's fowl). 
If they are lucky enough to get more than they can eat, they 
smoke the remainder, and sell it to the nearest planter. 

No. 2 class also go' in for a ' squatting ' life, but in the dry season 
they emerge from their obscurity to take part in some well-paid 
work which they like, such as driving cane-carts, etc. 

No. 3, or the drones, are generally hard-working, but otherwise •>. 

f of primitive habits. Of the older men very few can read, and still 

\ fewer write. 3Sio man ever makes a mistake as to the amount of 

r* pay he should receive — rough notches on a stick, or an accumula- 

\ tion of pebbles in the Corner of the one room he calls his house, 

\being his perfectly infallible system of computation. 

On one occasion, on pay-day, an old black woman threw down ) 
her money with a highly indignant air, exclaiming, ' No ! me wuk / 
twenty-fo' day — de Lord see me mark ebbery day behind de do'' 
(door) wid de coal-tick !' 

The Creole labourer, especially in the country districts, drinks 
rum to a frightful extent, with the result that, at holiday seasons, 
broken heads are knocking about as freely as if the scene were 
Donnybrook Fair or Limerick Races rather than Trinidad. Of 
course due allowance must be made for them. Remote from 
churches and, indeed, any profitable institutions, as hundreds of 
them are, and with limited amusements, the brute must of 
necessity be developed at the expense of the better nature. 

In my capacity as Dominie I continually had to check the dis- 
position of my pupils in Trinidad to use long-winded words and 
high-flown phrases. Boys and young men spend hours poring 
| over dictionaries, simply to try and master the meanings of words 
' which for length might be measured by the yard. They positively 
do not believe in the sweet simplicity of the Saxon tongue. Only 
to-day, in the street, one man talking to another, in the usual loud 
tone, said, while passing me, ' I estimate it to be my particular 
and elementary dutjr.' I should like to have discovered what 
duty combined those two essentials, but the speaker was out of 
hearing. I have heard, too, a woodcutter gravely tell his employer, 


' It was with the utmost difficulty that I managed to disintegrate 
those logs, sir.' 

The lower classes are very impressionable with regard to religion, ■ 
and, to outward appearance, become earnest and attached members 
of their church. Whether their devotion is real or feigned I do 
not pretend to say ; probably they are neither better nor worse 
than their superiors in social position. There is one thing that I 
am quite sure of, that is, their liberality to their church. Whether 
their donation be in labour or in coin of the realm, they give un- 

They are superstitious almost beyond conception, combining, in 
the country districts, a mixture of shrewdness and credulity that 
is as absurd as it is inconsistent. Smart and quick enough in 
business matters, they can drive a good bargain as well as any 
Yorkshireman or Scotchman, but if they once form the impression 
that occult influences are working insidiously against them, any 
argument which you may adduce to the contrary will have about 
as much effect as the boring of an iron target with a wooden 

A jet or black bead bracelet, for instance, must be placed round 
the wrist of an infant to keep off the ' evil eye,' which might cause 
it to pine away. 

If a rooster, being of a sociable turn of mind, steps upon 
your threshold and gives vent to his feelings by a lusty crow, 
all will be well provided he faces the house during his ex- 
clamation, but if he turns his back to the interior while crowing, 
it is a sure sign that somebody in the house will be shortly carried 
to his last resting place. 

If your babe suffers, as young children always do, from 
hiccough, two little strips of wet paper placed in the form 
of a' cross on its forehead will bring speedy relief. Should 
a child in the course of its play stumble across that spiteful little 
animal the centipede, the mere repetition of the formula, ' St. 
Peter, St. Paul,' several times, will render the creature powerless 
to do any harm. 


If, while you are going on important business, you should have 
the misfortune to strike the left foot — ' stump ' is the Trinidad way 
of putting it— against an unperceived obstacle (coinSle mauvais pied, 
in patois), it is all up as regards the success of the business, and 
you may as well right-about-turn and wend your way home. On 
the other hand, if it is your right foot that ' stumps,' it is a capital 
portent, and things look promising ahead. 

On no account step over a coffin should you happen to meet one 
lying across the road. It has never fallen to my lot to see any- 
thing of this description in such an unusual place, and if I did, I 
do not think I should feel at all disposed to step over it, provided 
there were any alternative — who would ? It is impossible, how- 
ever, to over-estimate the evil results which might ensue if such 
an indiscretion were committed. Of course, it must be clearly 
understood the coffin is not a reality ; it is placed there by the 
' jumbies,' and if you deal with it respectfully, and with becoming 
reverence, by gently putting it on one side, it will at once 
vanish into space, which I think is about the wisest thing it 
could do. 

I ought to stop, but I have one more example ; this one so 
ridiculous and preposterous that, like the perplexed Dragoons in 
Patience, I must fain leave you to ' explain it if you can.' 

You will be told that certain malevolent individuals in league 
with the Evil One, and called Soucouyans, have an unnatural and 
indelicate propensity for casting off their skin, which they usually 
conceal in or under a chocolate mortar. Divested of epidermis, 
they have the marvellous faculty of flying through the air, re- 
sembling at the time balls of fire. They then, vampire-like, suck 
the blood of those against whom they have any animosity. I am 
sure you will be glad to know of a way of overcoming or counter- 
acting the machinations of such a dire and uncanny enemy. There 
are two plans : one is to sprinkle salt upon the cast-off skin, should 
you meet with it (there's the rub !) ; or when you are expecting a 
visit from the ' thing,' strew the floor around your bed with rice. 
This the Soucouijan, by some mysterious law, will be compelled to 


pick up grain by grain, thereby affording you an opportunity for 
slaying or otherwise disposing of the monstrosity. 

These are not a hundredth part of the many queer notions that 
prevail in sunny Trinidad among certain classes in the latter part 
of the nineteenth century. I could, with ease, fill a book with 
them, but I refrain, and simply give two or three that have occurred 
to me while writing, in order to convey a suitable idea of the 
credulity of the people. It is a waste of time to attempt to reason 
with them about the improbability and inconsistency of some of 
their beliefs. They meet you with proofs indubitable and incon- 
trovertible. After some story that sounds like an old legend, only 
much more unlikely, you say : 

' Oh, that is absurd !' 

' But, sir, I saw it myself !' is the reply, and you are doubled 

They are firm believers in ' Obeah,' a kind of Fetishism very 
much in vogue amongst the African Radas, and introduced into 
Trinidad probably by Eada slaves. The obeah-man, or priest, 
as he is generally called, makes a fetish or image of wood, with 
a moulded clay head, glass eyes, human hair and teeth. These 
priests are dreaded beyond everything by the common people on 
account of their assumed mystic power. "When a peasant con- 
tractor, stepping out of his hut one morning, finds a sealed bottle 
lying at the entrance, containing abominations as horrid as those 
of Macbeth's witches, his heart sinks within him, for he feels that 
calamities, dire and untold, are looming ahead. Somebody — one 
of his enemies — is working ' obeah ' on him. His children will 
get ' yaws,' his cow dry up, his crops will fail, goodness knows 
what may not befall him. One thing is certain : all will go wrong 
with him unless he can counteract or overcome the evil. So he 
goes to some wretched old humbug who professes to have the 
mysterious power, and fees him heavily to prepare a charm which 
shall have the desired effect. I need hardly say that the police 
authorities and the law come down 'hot ' on these obeah quacks ; 
but such is the hold the superstition has on the minds of the 


ignorant, that nothing will shake their faith in it, and it will 
take years, if not generations, to eradicate it. I have been told 
that one of these obeah men has made quite a considerable sum of 
money by practising his art ; he has his little harem, and lives en 

A doctor in a remote district had one day assembled a number 
of children for vaccination. In the course of his operations he 
came to a little girl, and the following conversation ensued with 
the person bringing her : 

Doctor : ' Are you the child's mother V 

Woman : ' Yes, sir — is me darter.' 

Doctor : ' And what is your name V 

Woman : ' Is me name V 

Doctor (rather impatiently, for he is many miles from home, and 
is getting hungry) : ' Yes, I asked you what is your name V 

Woman (hesitatingly) : 'Dey does caal me Sal.' 

Doctor : ' Well, Sal what V 

Woman (assuringly, but with a suspicious side-glance at a 
neighbour who is intently taking all in): 'Dey does alius caal 
me Sal.' 

Doctor (getting desperate) : ' Oh ! botheration, will you tell me 
your proper name or not V 

Woman (with much reluctance approaching doctor, whispers in 
the lowest possible tone of voice) : ' Delphine Segard' 

Doctor (with intense disgust) : 'Then why couldn't you say so V 

However, my medical friend now bears these little passages 
with more equanimity, for he has gained experience, and knows 
that the unwilling woman's reluctance to utter her name aloud 
arose from the fact that she believed she had an enemy in the 
room who would take advantage of the circumstance if she got 
hold of her true name, and would work her all manner of harm. 
It is a fact that these people sometimes actually forget the names 
of their near relations from hearing and using them so little. 

This reminds me of another little incident. A man selling 
fowls, brought some to a planter of my acquaintance. A bargain 


was struck, and my friend, liking the man's appearance, asked 
him his name. 

Fowl Vendor : 'Bully, dey does caal me, but I is name Ralph 
Woodford Jones.' 

Planter : ' Ah ! I have a man working for me of that name, 
Samuel Jones ; is he any relation to you V 

Fowl Vendw (shaking his head with no sign of intelligence) : 
'No, "Bouge."' 

Planter : ' His nickname is Manicou ; is he anything to you V 

Fowl Vendor (beaming) : ' Eh ! eh ! He me brudder's son !' 

Perhaps one reason why the lowest class of peasantry make 
-so little use of proper names, is that, in reality, they are not 
entitled to them. The rites of marriage and baptism are so 
frequently ignored, and the sexes intermingle so indiscriminately, 
that it is small wonder if the offspring grow up nameless. 
^- It is natural that a people so simple in their minds should 
believe in spirits. I do not mean the alcoholic, though they 
certainly do not reject these, but the ethereal. Nothing would 
induce them to pass through a burial ground at midnight for 
fear of meeting with 'jumbies,' the ghosts of the departed. 
However, this repugnance is not confined to Trinidad only, nor 
to the lower classes. 

Your West Indian working man has an inordinate love of public 
ceremonies. A baptism, wedding, and funeral rank with them as 
good, better, best. When your groom marries the lady who does 
the woman in the next street the honour of cooking for her, he 
must have his carriage and pair (and not one only, but several) ; 
he puts on his topper, swell frock-coat, and light lavender gloves, 
and leads his blushing bride to the altar with the airs and graces 
of a lord. However, they may well be pardoned this little bit of 
vanity, since in the majority of cases they dispense with the 
church's rites and simply consort. Immorality is, unhappily, gross, 
flagrant and shameful — or rather shameless. You will scarcely 
find a domestic servant who has not had two or three children, 
and yet she has no lawful husband. You expostulate, perhaps, 


with your cook about her mode of life. She excuses herself by- 
saying that she and her 'keeper' cannot afford the marriage 
ceremony. ' Oh, but,' say you, ' you can surely walk to church, 
and the parson will then marry you for nothing.' With a deeply 
injured look she replies, ' Oh, madam, how you want me to walk 
to de church door V It must be either the whole hog or none 
with them. The men, however, have another and perhaps better 
reason for not binding themselves by any civil or religious form. 
They candidly assert that a paramour behaves much better than 
a wife would, because she knows if she didn't she would soon get 
her ticket ! 

I have spoken of funerals as being a source of pleasure to 
them. It is a custom here amongst all classes, when any indi- 
vidual dies, to send a circular round inviting the presence of all 
and everybody to assist in the obsequies. This seems odd to our 
English notions, but one soon gets accustomed to it. No matter 
how humble was the station in life of the departed, you wijl 
probably see a hundred or so of his neighbours and acquaintances 
soberly following him to the cemetery in all their sombre bravery. 
Wakes, and sometimes the anniversaries of wakes, are kept up, 
either by psalm-singing of a very dismal character, or in a 
more objectionable manner. Occasionally the music is of a 
decidedly secular, not to say profane, turn. Games are indulged 
in, and — when the rum-bottle has been circulating pretty often 
— a fight or two varies the monotony. I have known an indi- 
vidual of straitened circumstances go scrupulously into mourning 
six or seven months after the decease of a friend, not having 
been able to afford it earlier ; this is showing respect with a 
1 The majority of the domestic servants, male and female, are 
t Barbadians, natives of ' Bimshire,' attracted hither by the 
I higher wages that Trinidad offers. They are an exceedingly 
/ cute and smart race, and as not a few of them may have left 
/. their country for their country's good, it is as well to be wide 
I awake in all your dealings with them. I am convinced they 


must be devout believers in the philosophy of the celebrated 
Tichborne Claimant, Arthur Orton, who pencilled in his pocket- 
book : 

' Some men has money and no brains, 
Some men has brains and no money, 
Them as has money and no brains 
Were made for them as has brains and no money.' 

It must be admitted, however, that they are willing enough 
and, when properly looked after, make excellent servants. 
Apropos of this, on one occasion, during an amateur dramatic 
performance at the Prince's Building in this town, a comical 
episode took place. All the actors were on the stage playiDg, 
save one who was waiting his turn in the wings. This individual, 
who was capitally made up as a feeble old man, suddenly disap- 
peared, and we heard a slight scuffle, which terminated very soon, 
and our decrepit friend appeared again just in time to take up his 
part, but with his hoary locks rather dishevelled and his cuffs 
blood-stained. He had observed, through a chink in the scenery, 
that a Barbadian servant of one of the performers was quietly im- 
proving the shining hour by rifling the pockets of the clothes left 
in the dressing-room. When interrupted in this interesting occu- 
pation by a miserable-looking old party, he showed fight ; but, 
much to his surprise and discomfiture, he received two or three 
powerful arguments in the nose and eyes, and before he recovered 
his presence of mind he was in the hands of the police. Next day 
our nimble and wiry little son of Thespis being, like ' Richard,' 
himself again, gave evidence in the court which led to the pri- 
soner's conviction. The funniest part of it is that the defendant 
did not recognise in the chief witness the venerable gentleman of 
the previous night, and begged earnestly to be allowed to bring a 
counter-charge of assault against a wicked old man who ' beat him 
too bad.' 

The Trinidadians are very quick at learning, whether it be in 
the school or in the workshop. In fact, they are ready and sharp 
enough at most things to which they give their minds, though 


their natural adroitness has a tendency to make them smatterers. 
A young fellow will sometimes essay quite a variety of trades and 
employments before settling himself finally. A country school- 
master came under my notice, whom I knew to have been recently 
a tailor ; he confided to me that his proper trade (' profession ' he 
called it) was that of shoemaker. Such a readiness to adapt one's 
self to circumstances must be a convenience. ' Jack of all trades 
and master of none 1 is rather applicable in these cases. At the 
same time, they often make first-rate workmen, and have any 
amount of physical endurance. 

This roving disposition is even more manifested in domestic 
servants. Of course, a housemaid may easily become a nurse or 
butler, but when she proceeds to try her 'prentice hand at the 
culinary art, it is very far from being a certainty that her attempts 
will be crowned with success. 

A bachelor acquaintance had a cook of this calibre. He had 
impressed upon her that he had an affection (plebeian but English) 
for onions, especially in conjunction with beefsteak. A nod is as 
good as a wink to a blind horse. One dajr a friend was invited to 
share the frugal board. Here was a golden opportunity. Cook 
made a superlative effort, and as far as the soup and meat portion 
of the fare was concerned, out-did herself. Then, with a trium- 
phant air, she brought in the chef d'ceuvre — a custard ! The guest 
partook and swallowed one mouthful, with laudable presence of 
mind, but with mental pain and anguish only too clearly betrayed 
by the spasm passing over his face. My friend the host had not 
such Spartan fortitude ; at the first and only mouthful, he rushed 

spluttering to the window, and . The prevailing flavour of 

the custard was ONIONS. The guest, who is by way of being a wag, 
afterwards relating the story to me, irreverently, and with unbe- 
coming levity, told me that mine host 'cussed hard.' Probably he 

Various fetes and holidays are observed. Ail classes, of course, 
celebrate Christmas with rejoicings, and let off any amount of gun- 
powder and superfluous steam in the form of fireworks. On 


Christmas Eve, from sunset to midnight, it is a continual succes- 
sion of bangs, pops, and fizzes. The French element, like many 
of the Scotch, make more of a holiday of New Year's Day, le jour 
de Van. Corpus Christi is a great Eoman Catholic fete, processions 
and services being the order of the day. Trinity Sunday ought to 
be a specially important festival in both Eoman and Anglican 
Churches in this island, but little is made of it. The Africans 
even pay more attention to it, as they hold high jinks on this day 
and Trinity Monday. Good Friday is, of course, marked by 
solemn services, the ' Tenebres ' of the Roman Catholics being 
particularly impressive. A wretched custom exists here among 
the street gamins of parading the streets with ' ra-ras,' rattles of 
the old Greenwich Fair type, making a hideous noise, which they 
say is to drive away the devil. The Portuguese on this day, too, 
make an effigy of Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, and stone it. 
During the Carnival the lower classes, and even the sedate 
Spaniards, have a high old time of it, but we will revert to this 
later. The Coolies have their chief fun at ' Hoscin.' At whatever 
season of the year the visitor comes to Trinidad, lie will generally 
find something novel and unusual in this line, unless he is as 
travelled as one of Ouida's heroes. 

To the ignorant Asiatic the word Christmas conveys, as might 
be expected, simply the notion of ' holiday-time.' At the hearing 
of a case in court one day, when a Coolie was asked if a certain 
event happened at Christmas — ' Kissmiss V he replied. ' Who 
man kissmiss ? White man kissmiss ? Coolie man kissmiss ? 
Chinee man kissmiss V (' Whose Christmas 1 White man's, 
Coolie's, or Chinese ?') The last-named Christmas refers to the 
Feast of Lanterns, a great time with the Celestials. 

The race-days of Port-of-Spain are alluded to elsewhere as being 
practically a public holiday for all classes ; even the stolid, money- 
grubbing Coolies come from all parts, clad in their best, to see 
the fun. 

We have our local oddities, notably ' General Dan,' a harmless, 
half-witted fellow, who dresses himself as a soldier, at one time a 


hussar, at another a subaltern of the Eifle Brigade, and occasion- 
ally a felicitous combination of both. He attends all weddings 
and funerals of any consequence, stationing himself at the front- 
door or gate, and assuming an air of authority to perform con- 
stabulary or military duty. Goodness knows how he hears of 
everything, but there is not a fete or ceremony in the vicinity 
of Port-of-Spain at which the 'General' does not lend his 

Patois — a compound of bad French and English, with a flavour 
of Spanish — is spoken not only in Trinidad, but even in Grenada 
and St. Lucia. Some years ago Mr. J. J. Thomas, a native, with 
considerable ability, wrote and published his ' Creole Grammar,' 
in which he elevates the patois to the dignity of a language. Cer- 
tainly, this lingua is an expressive one. It is sparkling with 
/ humour, masterly for sarcasm and ridicule, magnificent for abuse, 
but I am afraid it is wanting in elegance of diction. Some of the 
Creole proverbs are very witty and pregnant with meaning. Thus, 
quoting from 3Ir. Thomas's book : 

' Yon doegt pas sa pouend pices.' 
(A single finger cannot catch fleas.) 
. ' Deier chien, ce " chien," douvant chien, ce " missier chien." ' 
/ (Behind dog's back, it is ' dog,' but before dog, it is 'Mister dog.') 

Coolie English, too, is in itself a sort of patois of another kind, 
and it needs a little apprenticeship for you to understand that 
when your newly-engaged Oriental servant tells you, 'Giumpitty 
mangy, massa, me sabby do ran all someting dis side,' he intends 
to convey to you that if you give him his food he can undertake 
/ any work you may require. 

The French, Spanish, and Portuguese classes usually speak 
their own tongue in their home-circles, but nearly all understand 
English, and converse tolerably fluently in it. In this respect the 
French particularly beat us hollow, and as I have a pretty strong 
conviction that a Frenchman's English is infinitely better than an 


Englishman's French, I wisely refrain from airing my little Gallic 

The lower classes do not discriminate well between tneum and 
tuum. Not so much in grave matters as in small ones, they have 
hazy and vague notions of the propriety of honesty, which does 
not always strike them as being the best policy. Of course, they 
are not peculiar in this — the labouring classes of other nations are 
more or less the same, be they English, Yankee, or Indian. Was 
it not a Scotchman who gave his son, when starting out in life, the 
doubtful advice, ' Mak siller, laddie, honestly if ye can, but at ony 
reet mak siller ' ? Recently it has been found necessary to pass an 
ordinance prohibiting the sale of cacao except by licensed persons, 
on account of the depredations of rascals who used to steal the 
cacao pods or nibs and sell them. 

But by far the most universal failing of the Creole lower class 
is the absence of thrift. Young men in particular are far too prone 
to live up to, if not beyond, their incomes, and have little idea of 
putting away f or the 'rainy day.' Perhaps they are not altogether 
to blame, for this is a Crown colony, in which the public works 
and institutions are mainly supported by Government, and people 
are only just beginning to learn to rely upon themselves. This is 
the reason why we have no co-operative stores, no doctors' clubs, 
and scarcely any provident societies, those we have being little 
known and still less supported. Any man in this city of high 
rents who would start a good building society, based upon sound 
financial principles and under vigilant and skilful superintendence, 
would deserve well of his country. 

The Creoles are born with a love of music. They have a mar- 
vellously correct ear, and pick up a tune in no time. The artisan 
class acquire the rudiments of music, and you will often hear the 
sol-faing of hymns and part-songs in a little hut. This love of one 
of the most refining of all the Arts is probably hereditary, and 
may be traced back to the old slavery period, when the negroes 
amused themselves in their leisure time by singing impromptu 
songs, while their Spanish masters, in their turn, serenaded the 



ladies to the accompaniment of the melodious guitar. The Coolies 
in this respect are far behind them, for they seldom sing, and when 
they do, their music is of a melancholy, lugubrious and depressing 
character. I once tried the experiment of getting together four 
hundred and fifty Creole children from all the Government schools 
within easy distance for a concert, after the style of the Crystal 
Palace school concerts at home. They had all been practised in 
their several schools, and when brought together the effect was 
very pleasing. 

The two days immediately preceding Ash Wednesday are, as 
in most Eoman Catholic countries, devoted to King Carnival. 
Business is partially, if not altogether, suspended ; masquerading 
and tomfoolery generally being the order of the day. The better 
class of Spaniards dress themselves in fantastic costumes and 
ride or drive about visiting their friends, showering small con- 
fitures upon them. The custom is gradually dying out, and of 
late years it has degenerated into the lowest form of buffoonery ; 
vulgarity and thinly-disguised obscenity being rather the rule 
than the exception. The roughs, rowdies, and diametres take 
advantage of the privilege of masking, and indulge in coarse 
ribaldry, till the police finally take them temporarily under their 
wing. These orgies used to begin with ' Canboulay.' Bands of 
ruffians armed with staves, calling themselves Bakers, Free- 
grammars, etc., each set having their leader, paraded the town of 
Port-of-Spain at midnight on the Sunday and fought each other, 
annoyed the peaceably disposed, and even defied the police on 
occasions, if the latter presumed to interfere with them. Things 
got to such a pitch at last that the Government was compelled in 
the interests of Law and Order to put this down with a high hand. 
This caused some trouble at first, and not a little bitterness of 
feeling, but eventually Might, which for once was also Eight, pre- 
vailed, and the ' Canboulay ' as such has become a thing of the 
past. Peace he to its ashes ! 

I must give the Trinidadian lower classes credit for one more 
virtue at least— that of politeness. In the course of ten years' 


residence here, during which I have often knocked against the 
roughest element, I have rarely, if ever, been treated with rudeness. 
I have interfered in fights ; I have even been soft enough to step 
between a man and his wife (brevet-rank, probably), when the 
fists and finger-nails have been having a lively time of it — and 
have come off scot-free, which was, perhaps, more than I deserved. 
Be that as it may, the bearing of any man of humble position 
towards one whom he considers socially his superior is almost 
invariably that of respect. This is, however, more noticeable in 
the men than the women. The latter are too given to discussing 
audibly the good or bad points in your physiognomy or dress — 
even though you are an utter stranger. This is not an inten- 
tional rudeness, but it is nevertheless somewhat embarrassing. 
Another of their characteristics is their affectionate mode of 
addressing one another. One buxom matron on her way to or 
from market meets a friend : 

' Marnin' darlin' ! how you is V 

' Too sick, ma chere ; me tink me go dead just now !' 

' Ah ! poor darlin', I too sarry fo' you. I go come see you to- 
marrow, please Ood.' 

The last two words are de rigueur, and being always used in 
season and out of season, must not be looked upon as an evidence 
of piety. 

It would be an omission not to notice the street cries, which 
are some of them unique. In place of the clean apron, bright 
cans and incisive if odd cry of the English milkman, a Coolie 
man with several vinegar or beer bottles full of milk will deposit 
one at your house, meekly ejaculating ' mil-lik ' as though he were 
not quite sure if the article were really milk or water, or a 
Simpsonian compound of both. We make up for this short- 
coming in our knife-grinder, who comes out very strong with 
'Affilez les couteaux, les ciseaux, les rasoirs,' his strong baritone 
giving a long 'Af on the note mi, and finishing in a recitative 
on do. All our ' scissors to grind ' artists are Frenchmen, many of 
them from the neighbouring province of Cayenne, arid they couple 

4— a 


the art of sharpening cutlery with that of repairing umbrellas, so 
that the ' Affilez ' cry is occasionally varied by ' Arranges Us 
parasols,' chanted similarly oinBt and do, thus, — 

9 m # € « a € — 

Ar - ran - gez les lam - pes et les pa - ra - sols. 

During any evening you hear a long soprano recitative, with the 
words noyau or vanille recurring at intervals ; it is the marchmde 
of ice-creams. 

One word more and I must bring this overgrown chapter to a 
close. If you want to annoy a native beyond measure, make the 
slightest allusion in disparagement of his maternal parent. Of 
course, filial affection is a thing to be admired and upheld. The 
oddity lies in this : suppose a man or youth to be on terms of 
bitterness or enmity with one or both of his parents ; he will 
bear an unkind remark about his father without flinching, but 
for him to hear the words ' your mother,' offensively uttered, is 
sufficient to send him at once into a frenzy of rage. This must 
be a relic of African customs, for Mungo Park in his travels, 
fully eighty years ago, found the natives of Africa exceedingly 
sensitive on this point — ' Strike me, but do not curse my mother/ 
was their cry. 



Port-of-Spain, the Capital, situated on the shores of the Gulf of 
Paria, about two miles from the mouth of the Caroni Eiver, and 
described in Whitaker's Almanac as being 'one of the finest 
towns in the West Indies/ occupies the site of an old Indian 
village named Conquerabia. The population having largely in- 


creased during the last few years, the town is rapidly extending 
in an easterly and westerly direction, forming the suburbs of 
Belmont and New Town. Three-fourths of the Port-of-Spain of 
1808 was destroyed by that scourge of the West Indies — fire. 
Thousands of people were ruined, and hundreds reduced to abso- 
lute beggary. Panic ensued, martial law was proclaimed, and it 
was some time before order and quiet were restored. Admiral 
Cochrane (afterwards Lord Dundonald) stopped any vessel near 
the island, obliging her, if she carried a cargo of provisions, to go to 
Port-of-Spain. This appears a harsh proceeding, but it does not 
do to mince matters when a whole town is starving and houseless, 
and things were then desperate. The total loss was estimated as 
not being less than half a million sterling. Parliament generously 
voted £50,000, and large subscriptions poured in from private 
sources. Out of evil after all came good, as often happens, for 
the modern Port-of-Spain arose Phcenix-like from the ashes. 

Though it was commenced before the advent of Sir Ralph 
Woodford, immediately on his arrival this excellent Governor 
set himself to complete the unfinished task with all his heart. 
It was a congenial work, and certainly in Port-of-Spain, if no- 
where else, Sir Ealph has left his mark. He laid it out with 
mathematical precision ; the streets, as is the case with most 
modern towns, intersecting each other at right angles. A Gren- 
adian once visiting Trinidad complained that the level streets of 
Portrof-Spain made him fearfully weary, so that, like the High- 
lander, he longed for his native hills, which were to him less 
fatiguing. Tastes differ. There has been a great deal more 
method in the nomenclature of the streets than is sometimes 
observed. This, I imagine, is owing to the fact that so many of 
them were constructed and named about the same time. Thus, 
in honour of Royalty, we have Henry, Charles, George, William, 
and King Streets, Charlotte, Queen, Hanover, Prince and 
Frederick Streets, with Brunswick Square. In honour of Royal 
Dukes we have Cambridge, Kent, Sussex and Duke Streets; of 
Governors, Chacon, Abercrombie, Picton and Woodford Streets ; 


of naval heroes, Nelson and Duncan Streets. Finally we have 
Oxford Street and Piccadilly, which, however, inherit nothing of 
the glory of their namesakes. The oldest thoroughfares are 
Duncan Street, still known by its older name Sue de Trois 
Chandelles (an honourable distinction on account of its being 
illuminated by three lamps) ; George Street, originally Place de 
I'Espagnol or Plaza de Mercado; Nelson Street (rue de Nelson), 
Henry Street, formerly Hue d'Herrera, from a police official of 
that name residing in it, and Frederick Street, which is still 
recognised by its old appellation, Rue des Anglais.* Nowadays 
the streets are, on the whole, tolerably well lighted, on the 
evenings when there is no moon, by kerosene oil lamps. There 
are two movements on foot, one for the introduction of electric 
light, and the other for gas. 

The house at the south-west corner of St. James and Duke 
Streets should be rich with historic associations, though now, 
alas ! a part at lea"st of it has fallen to be nothing more or less 
than a rum shop. In it the Illustrious Board of Cabildo held 
many a stormy meeting, and in it the still more illustrious Don 
Chacon signed many an important document, including the 
famous Cedilla of 1783. To the north of the town is the 

Queen's Park ok Geand Savanna, 

a splendid piece of park-like meadow-land, which, besides sup- 
plying the town with unlimited ozone, affords admirable pasturage 
for the cattle grazing here by the hundred. Moreover, it furnishes 
the youths of Port-of-Spain with a capital recreation-ground ; 
most of the cricket matches of any note in the island are played 
in the Park, for here is to hand a 'Lord's' or 'Oval ' with turf 
naturally almost as level as a billiard-table. A pavilion built in 
the Moorish style was erected here in 1 887, being finished just in 
time for the visit of the American Team in December of that 
year. At Christmas time, when the races take place, the Savanna 
* These facts are taken from Borde's 'Histoire de la Trinidad.' 



is alive with humanity; even Coolies come miles to see them, 
though perhaps not knowing the name of a single horse. How- 
ever, this is a public holiday by established custom, and must be 
as religiously observed as if it were a fixed festival, which indeed 
it almost seems to be. On the Queen's birthday athletic sports 
are held, and the youths of sinew and muscle come to exhibit 
their prowess and agility before the admiring gaze of the ladies, 
as in the amphitheatre of old. Members of the old Peschier 
family have the right of interment within the enclosure in the 
centre of it. The road round the Savanna is called ' The Cir- 
cular,' and it is much frequented by those who like a drive and a 
mouthful of fresh air after the dust and heat and turmoil of the 
day. Large trees are planted all along by the roadside ; a few 
yards to the east of the red tram terminus is a fine specimen of 
the Banyan-tree. It appears to be flourishing, in spite of the 
depredations of mischievous boys, and is developing a number of 
columnar roots. 

Four or five o'clock in the afternoon is a capital time to take a 
turn round the Savanna; the distance is a trifle over two miles, 
just a pleasant walk, or the cab-fare is 2s. 3d., and you will have 
an opportunity of seeing the pretty tropical houses dotted here 
and there along the road. The northern bend of the Queen's 
Park brings you to the Governor's residence (St. Anne's) and the 
Botanical Gardens. The house, a palatial edifice, designed by 
Mr. Fergusson on the Indian model, and built of native limestone, 
was erected at a cost of £45,000 in 1875, during Governor Irving's 
time. The ' Cottage ' where Kingsley wrote his ' At Last,' 
while the guest of Sir Arthur Gordon, is now amongst the 
things of the past, having just been demolished. The" present 
gubernatorial mansion has a fine entrance with lofty hall and 
tessellated floor, from which the grand staircase leads to the 
private rooms. Directly above the staircase is a square tower. 
The massive doors are made from mahogany grown on the Govern- 
ment lands near by. The reception-room and the drawing-room 
beyond are both of noble size, with neat and elegant embossed 


ceilings. The galleries are becoming delightfully screened by a 
luxuriant growth of stephanotis, jasmine, and other beautiful, 
fragrant climbers. 

Altogether, this is a first-rate specimen of West Indian archi- 
tecture ; when the handsome gaseliers are lighted and the grounds 
ornamented with Chinese lanterns, as on the occasion of a State 
ball, the scene is one of fairyland, and transports one in imagina- 
tion to those of the Arabian Nights. 

In January, 1880, during the short stay of Prince Albert Victor 
and Prince George of Wales in Trinidad, they, while ashore, were 
the guests of Sir Henry Irving, C.M.G., who was then Governor. 

It is not generally known that the bronze fountain in the Gardens 
was the gift of Sir Sanford Freeling in 1881 ; the other concrete 
one having been presented by Lord Harris more than thirty years 

If you do not wish to drive round the Circular, dismiss your cab 
at the gate and have a stroll about the grounds, which are open to 
the public from 6 a.m. till sunset. Here, if you are anything of 
a botanist, you will revel, and if you do not look upon them with 
the hungry eyes of a student of Nature, the groves of magnificent 
nutmegs, cloves, and other spices rendering the air around fragrant 
with their aroma ; the graceful palms, majestic samans burdened 
with their progeny of epiphytes, silk-cotton trees, endless varieties 
of bright-leaved crotons — all these, I say, cannot fail to have their 

These beautiful gardens were commenced in 1820, in the time 
of Sir E. Woodford, under the direction of Mr. D. Lockhart, the 
first botanist, many of the plants being imported from St. Vincent 
and Caracas. At first, attention was chiefly turned to the intro- 
duction of spice trees, but afterwards ornamental shrubs were 
planted. Among the many palms may be specially noted the 
Borassus flabelliformis, or Palmyra palm, used by the Orientals for 
making fans, punkahs, baskets, Hindoo books, etc., being valuable, 
as an old Eastern poem states, in hundreds of ways. Then we 
have the Corypha umbraculifem, or Talipot palm, also used for 


making books ; several varieties of the date ; the Sabal, which 
yields an abundance of tannin ; and the curious climbing Eotang 
(Calamus), whose long, slender stem furnishes rattans and canes for 
seating chairs. 

Leaving the Eastern palms, we have other oddities in the shape 
of the Sapindus saponaria, a formidable rival to Pear's soap, and 
the Slillingia sebifera, or Chinese wax-tree. A wax-like substance 
envelops the seed of the latter, and one of these, gathered fresh 
from the tree, will bum readily with a bright white light till it is 

Fine specimens of timber trees, native and introduced, are 
planted along the hillside road. Eoses, as a rule, come to great per- 
fection; not so, however, the moss-rose, which is always a failure. 

On entering the gardens, to the left-hand of the large gate is a 
very fine Eucalyptus, said to be unique in size in all the West-Indian 
islands, and with a trunk measuring more than thirty feet in 
diameter. It produces seed freely. The path running im- 
mediately westward of this is termed the Palm Walk, where are 
to be found a number of Australian and Indian palms. To the 
north of this walk is the ravine, and quite near to the bridge is 
the Bambusa gigantea, or giant bamboo ; farther on, almost in the 
middle of the ravine, is the Bambusa nina, or striped bamboo, 
both being natives of India. Both sides of the ravine are lined 
with nutmegs, with here and there wide-spreading samans (Pithe- 
colobium samari) ; of the latter there is an enormous one north of 
the Governor's residence. 

The part containing the cemetery is known as the Orchard 
Grounds ; here are to be found many valuable trees, of both 
economical and medicinal worth. Of these the Oarcinia mangos- 
tana, or mangosteen, and the Nephilium litchi, bearing a beautiful 
and luscious fruit, are especially noticeable. The little ' God's 
Acre ' has, amongst other remains, those of Sir George and Lady 
Hill, Mr. Purdie, a former botanist of considerable attainments, 
and of those recently interred," Sir Frederick Barlee, Mr. W. E. 
Pyne, Mr. J. Scott Bushe, and Mr. C. W. Warner. 


Above the Orchard are the Nursery Extension Grounds, contain- 
ing many different varieties of coffee, cacao, sugar-cane, eucalyptus, 
rubber (Castilloa elastica), etc. ; the ramie fibre plant, now attract- 
ing much notice in this colony, the coca plant (Erythrozylon coca), 
and the cola-nut; in fact, it is precisely what it professes to be : a 
nursery for producing and nurturing various descriptions of fruit, 
economic and medicinal plants. 

The Clove Avenue is to be found south of the cemetery. At 
the end of it to the right, on the ravine slope, are a couple of 
Tonga-bean trees ; a little beyond these are the tea-plants, with 
Liberian coffee on both sides of the rockery bridge. Immediately 
after these, and on the same road, are the camphor trees. Still 
farther we come to the nursery proper, which is well-stocked with 
several species of palms, ferns, crotons, and many other kinds of 
plants cultivated either for ornament or utility. 

Among the numerous flowering shrubs the frangipanni and 
oleander stand prominent. There are many choice mangos, some 
of the grafted ones yielding a most luscious fruit. 

The pasturage lands adjoining the gardens were originally part 
of the ' Eepos ' estate. These, with the Belmont pastures, cover 
ninety acres of ground, and what was ' Eepos ' has now become 
'St Anne's.' 

On the top of the hill in the Belmont pasture are ruins of a 
former gubernatorial residence, and from this spot one of the 
prettiest views of Port-of-Spain and the Gulf (as far as Monos) is 
to be obtained. 

Ask any of the labourers to direct you to the 'Look Out,' 
where you will get another splendid panorama of the town and 
harbour. If the day happen to be a Wednesday, the excellent 
band of the police force will be discoursing lively strains on the 
lawn, or if Sunday, airs of a more sober description will be 

Returning from the gardens, the stroll across the Queen's Park 
is very pleasant in the cool part of the day. If you are getting 
tired you may steer for the blue tram in the road to the left, and 

P0RT-0F-SPA1N. 63 

for the modest outlay of six cents you will surely be landed some- 
where within easy distance of your hotel. 

The road to. the right of the gardens leads to ' Coblentz,' the 
residence of Mr. L£on Agostini. A grand ball, with supper, was 
given here in January, 1880, in honour of the visit of the two 
young Princes, sons of the Prince of Wales. The youngsters 
seemed to have enjoyed the fun hugely, and that they went away 


favourably impressed with the hospitality of Mr. Agostini is 
evident from their remarks upon it in 'The Cruise of H.M.S. 
Bacchante:' 'The floral decorations were the prettiest we have 
ever seen. . . . Mr. Agostini had erected a large supper-room in 
which all the guests, about 400, could be seated at once. . . . 
The whole place, with its well-arranged combinations of subdued 
light and tropic foliage, seemed to us more like fairyland than 
anything else.' 


Brunswick Square 

is situated almost in the middle of the town, and belongs to the 
Borough Council. It was formerly known as the Place des 
Ames, which became corrupted in course of time to Place des 
Armes, deriving its name from the fact that a sanguinary 
engagement between two tribes of Indians took place here. 
In the middle of the Square is a handsome bronze fountain, 
presented to the town by the late Mr. Gregor Turnbull (of 
Turnbull, Stewart and Co., Trinidad and Glasgow), a well-known 
merchant and sugar proprietor. The Police Band plays here 
every Saturday afternoon from 5 to 6. The Square is planted 
with large trees, roble, poui, etc., with a splendid avenue of 
angelines from east to west. On the western side of the Square 
are the substantial-looking but rather unsightly Government 

Marine Square. 

The Marine Square, extending from St. Vincent Wharf on the 
west to the Roman Catholic Cathedral on the east, was planted 
out by Sir Ralph "Woodford on lands reclaimed from the sea. It 
is not enclosed like the other squares, but really forms one of 
the main thoroughfares of the town, with a shady boulevard or 
promenade in the middle of it, planted with mahogany and other 
umbrageous trees. This Square in old times was often the scene 
of many a gay military pageant. About sixty years ago, for 
example, on Sunday morning, 31st December, 1826, the several 
corps of militia were collected here by the Muster-Master 
General and reviewed. At noon, His Excellency Sir Ralph 
Woodford, attended by his staff, inspected the Corps of Invalids 
Early on Monday forenoon (New Year's Day), His Excellency, 
as President of the Illustrious Board of Cabildo, and the Alcaldes 
de Barrio assembled at the Cabildo Hall, then at the corner of 


Brunswick Square, and, according to annual custom, marched in 
procession to the Catholic Church, the Corps of the 1st or Town 
Division lining both sides of the street. After the Te Deum a 
royal salute was fired by the Artillery ; then the procession 
returned to Government House and dismissed. At 1.30 p.m. of 
the same day the Governor held a levee, which was most 
numerously attended, the Grenadier Company of His Majesty's 
86th Regiment of Foot forming the guard of honour. 

Both sides of Marine Square are occupied by mercantile houses, 
the north side being known as King Street. Since the fashion 
has set in here, as at home, for the merchants to reside in the 
suburbs, or at any rate away from their places of business, the 
upper rooms of the stores are either used as warehouses or are 
let out as lodging-houses and hotels. Almost in the middle 
of the Square and at right angles to it is the Almond Walk, 
a busy street leading to the wharf, railway station and tram 
terminus. Like the Square, this has a promenade, which, how- 
ever, since the introduction of trams, has been appropriated by 
the tramway company. 

The Almond Walk, really a misnomer, is planted with an 
avenue of trees {Terminalia catappa), the fruit of which some- 
what resembles the almond. These, though not affording much 
shade, give a pleasing appearance to what is at all times a dusty, 
not to say fusty, region. 

The Fountain in Marine Square, 

which is one of the town ornaments, represents a child holding 
a swan by the neck. By the way, it is a favourite rendezvous 
for corbeaux (vultures), by whom it is much appreciated. You 
may see them here by the dozen taking their much-needed bath. 
These repulsive-looking birds feed ravenously on any offal they 
find about the streets. The more disgusting it is, the more to 
their taste'; and as in this way they perform useful scavenging 
duties, they are not only suffered to do their dirty work un- 



molested, but are actually protected by law. They do not appear 
to relish living food. A story is told that an individual much 
given to conviviality got cured of his roystering propensities by 
awakening from a heavy drunken street-sleep to find one of these 
hideous animals perched upon his breast, apparently gravely 
watching and waiting for the expected and hoped-for speedy 
demise of the inebriate. 

Columbus Square. 

Columbus Square, to the east of the Roman Catholic Cathedra], 
is surrounded by an iron palisading. It was laid out and 
planted with ornamental shrubs by the Corporation, to whom it 
belongs. The handsome fountain, which was presented by the 
late Mr. Hypolite Borde, a wealthy cacao proprietor, is sur- 
mounted by a bronze statue of one whose memory should be 
perpetuated in this colony — Christopher Columbus. This 
statue was unveiled and the Square opened with some ceremony 
by the late Governor Young in 1881. This end of the town 
used formerly to be much neglected, but the recent embellish- 
ments have greatly improved its appearance, and once a month, 
on the third Thursday, the Police Band plays at the usual hour, 
from 5 to 6 P.M. 

Tranquillity Square. 

Tranquillity Square, near the New Town terminus of the red 
tram route, is the only oneof the squares which does not belong 
to the Borough Council, it having been leased by the Government 
for a long term of years to the owners of the surrounding houses. 
It is one of the latest ornamental additions to the town. A very 
few years ago the whole of the Tranquillity property belonged 
to Archdeacon Cummins, whose house stood near where the 
Model Schools now are. It was divided into lots, sold, and now 
has several streets of bright, well-built villas. Other additions, 
too, have been made — the Model Schools, Volunteer Drill Hall, 

-^i? aiw^aww ^tj w a^ jg awg; 

o— -i 


German Club, and the Wesleyan Iron Chapel, which last is, 
however, only a temporary structure. It is nicely fenced with 
neat railings, and, like the Square, sets an example in this respect 
to the Government institutions, which are poorly railed. As in 
many of the semi-public London squares, an annual subscription 
gives the right of admission, but it is practically always open to 
visitors to the colony. Ornamental shrubs have been planted, 
and several excellent tennis-courts laid out. The Police Band 
plays here every Friday from 5 to 6, attracting many who like to 
watch the tennis and listen to the music. 



In this chapter it is proposed to give a brief sketch of the princi- 
pal public offices and institutions, whether connected with the 
Government or otherwise. The hospitals, asylums, prisons, and 
schools — are, however, dealt with by themselves later on. 

Government Buildings. 

The Government buildings in Brunswick Square are constructed 
in two blocks, connected by a double archway of somewhat un- 
finished appearance. The corner-stone was laid in 1844 by Sir 
H. MacLeod, the pile being erected by Mr. George Bevell, from 
the designs of Mr. R. Bridgens, for many years Superintendent of 
Public Works. It is generally understood that the plans aimed 
at a highly ornate building, but that, the estimates being curtailed, 
the present plain structure is the result. Probably the Govern- 
ment intended beautifying it at a later date ; the architect, how- 
ever, died soon after the completion of the work, and as his 
executor required too exorbitant a sum for the original plan, it has 
had to remain in statu quo. The buildings were inaugurated with 


much ceremony in 1848 by Lord Harris, after an impressive ser- 
vice in Trinity Cathedral. The more northern of the two blocks 
contains the rooms of his Excellency the Governor, the Colonial 
Secretary, and a larger one used as the Council Chamber. Below 
are the offices of the Sub-Intendant of Crown Lands and the Sur- 
veying Department. The Council Chamber is a large, airy room, 
with ornamental ceiling of native wood. Here, on the 1st of every 
month, the regular meetings of the Legislative Council are held, 
the Governor presiding. This body is composed of six of the 
principal heads of departments — 

Colonial Secretary 


Solicitor . 

Auditor . 

Protector of Immigrants 

Director of Public Works 

Hon. H. Fowler, 
„ S. H. Gatty, 
„ M. M. Philip, 
„ H. W. Chantrell, 
„ C. Mitchell, 
„ J. E. Tanner, 

with eight unofficial Members, who are appointed by her Majesty 
on the recommendation of the Governor. At the present time 
the unofficial Members are the Honourables Fred. Warner (since 
1861), Dr. L. A. A. de Verteuil, Dr. J. V. de Boissiere, L. 
Giuseppi, T. A. Finlayson, G. Garcia, G. T. Fenwick, and G. Fitt. 
The Governor, Sir William Bobinson, K.C.M.G., is a gentleman 
of wide experience (some thirty-four years in the public service), 
undoubted ability, and genial manners, and he has evinced, 
during the short period he has held the reins, a disposition and 
power to grasp at and cope with the difficult problems presenting 
themselves, which promise well for the colony. He previously 
administered the Governments of the Windward Islands, Bahamas, 
etc. The Hon. H. Fowler, Colonial Secretary, is comparatively 
new to the colony, but he brings with him an excellent reputation 
from British Honduras and other colonies where he has served, 
and where his high principles and unswerving rectitude won for 
him the esteem of all classes. 

The handsome stained-glass south window, by Messrs. Jones 


and Willis, of London, was added in 1887, and is a tribute to the 
memory of the late Mr. J. Scott Bushe (Mr. Fowler's predecessor), 
who died early in 18S7, after thirty-seven years of faithful 
service in this colony. The subject of the window is the ' Landing 
of Columbus on Trinidad shores,' and the great navigator is 
depicted in the act of planting the royal standard of Spain in token 
of possession on behalf of his sovereigns, Ferdinand and Isabella. 
An Indian is seen curiously peering through the foliage in the 
background. In the right top corner is the seal of the Island, 
while opposite are the royal arms of England. At the foot of the 
window is a striking medallion portrait of Mr. Bushe, with a suit- 
able inscription. 

Immediately behind the Governor's chair at the Council-table is 
a full-size statue, by Behnes, of Lord Harris, a former Governor, 
whose name is still revered in Trinidad. 

Here are filed copies of every newspaper published in the island. 
At the lower end of the room are some cases of stuffed native 
birds, presented to the colony by the late Dr. Leotaud, whose 
' Ornithology of Trinidad ' is a standard work. The interesting 
collection of reptiles was given by the late Dr. Court, 
and in the cabinet will be found a really valuable though little 
appreciated assortment of shells, the gift of the widow of the late 
Governor Keate. 

There is, in fact, the nucleus of a good local museum ; what a 
pity more is not made of it ! The shells should be arranged by 
some competent person, Mr. E. J. L. Guppy, for instance, who is 
an authority on such matters, and placed in glass cases where 
they could be seen without being handled. It is well known 
that collectors of curiosities have few scruples of conscience, and 
if this lot of shells does not become smaller by degrees and beauti- 
fully less, I shall be agreeably surprised. The bottles of snakes 
and other reptiles should be labelled; specimens of the huge 
anaconda and rattlesnake, etc., might be added. It would be no 
difficult task to obtain in a very few weeks whole cases full 
of butterflies, beetles, etc. With all these properly arranged, 


classified and displayed to the best advantage, the colony would 
be able to boast in a short time of a very creditable museum. 
British Guiana has one — why not Trinidad ? Over and over again 
I find this matter has been urged by members of the Scientific 
Association in their meetings ; but nothing has been done, it may 
be, for want of some active, energetic individual to take the lead. 
I understand that there was formerly at the Public Library a 
good geological collection, accumulated by Messrs. Wall and 
Sawkins during their survey, but it has mysteriously disap- 
peared, no one knows how or where. Such a misfortune could 
not have occurred had there been a museum with curator in 

Since the above lines were penned, Sir Win. Kobinson has taken 
the initiative in the matter, and has started a movement to estab- 
lish, in commemoration of the Queen's Jubilee, a Victoria Institute, 
to combine within itself the Scientific Association, the Agricultural 
Society, the Public Library, and a Museum, and it will contain a 
large hall suitable for lectures, conversaziones, concerts, meetings, 
and exhibitions. The idea is a magnificent one, and is thoroughly 
worthy of the support of all who have the welfare of the colony 
at heart. A central committee has been appointed, with the 
Hon. S. H. Gatty, Attorney-General, at its head, and already a 
very fair amount has been subscribed towards an institution 
which, as the Governor very pertinently remarks, ' if established 
and properly managed, cannot fail to be of permanent benefit to 
present and future generations in this her Majesty's colony of 

On the east side of the block, facing Brunswick Square, are two 
brass cannon of historic interest, for they belonged to the Spanish 
ships of war that were scuttled off Gasparil in 1797 by Admiral 
Apodaca. (See Chap. XXIII.) On the north side is a magnifi- 
cent specimen of the Pithico-lobium filici-foliatum (Fern-leaved ape- 
ear), towering grandly far above the tallest houses in the neigh- 

The second building contains, upstairs, the two courts of justice 



and judges' chambers, while below are the offices of the registrar 
arid the marshal. The larger, or supreme court, has in it a bust 
of the late Chief Justice Knox, whose memory is beloved for his 
excellent learning and judicial impartiality. The punkah over the 
bench will at once strike the unaccustomed English eye. This 
court sits for criminal trials the second week in February, April, 
June, October and December. All the judges (three) occupy the 
bench for murder cases. The principal officials on the judicial 
establishment are : 

Chief Justice . 

1st Puisne Judge 

2nd „ 

A tlorney- General 

Solicitoi'- Gen eral 



Sir John Gorrie, Kt. 
Mr. Justice Cook. 

„ „ Lumb. 
Hon. S. H. Gatty. 

„ M. M. Philip. 
Mr. C. H. Phillips. 

„ D. B. Horsford. 

Trial by jury was first introduced into this island mainly by the 
efforts of the Hon. E. Jackson, Attorney-General, who, however, 
only lived long enough to see his great wish accomplished, for his 
death occurred shortly after. 

A third and smaller block to the north of those mentioned, and 
of more ornamental appearance, was built in 1883-4, at a cost of 
£4,024. Here are the offices of the Attorney-General, Solicitor- 
General, Auditor-General, and Inspector of Schools. 

The Public Works Department. 

This department has jurisdiction over the railway, the water- 
works, all the roads (excepting those within the limits of the 
two boroughs), measuring about 1,000 miles in length, and over 
all public structures, so far as the repairing of old and the 
erection of new are concerned. All these are under the superin- 
tendence of the Hon. J. E. Tanner, M.I.C.E., whose official 


designation is Director of Public Works, the Assistant Director 
being Mr. G. W. Dickson, A.I.C.E. 

The chief terminus of the railway, as it is called, is in the 
wharf, near the News Eoom. It was opened to Arima, sixteen 
miles eastward from Port-of-Spain, on Santa Eosa day (the great 
Arima fete), August 31, 1876, and to San Fernando, thirty- 
two miles in a southerly direction, in 1S82. It was begun by 
Mr. Tanner in the time of Governor Longden, and completed 
during the administration of Sir Henry Irving. An offshoot, 
seven miles in length, called the Guaracara line, has been carried 
from Marbella junction, near San Fernando, to Princes Town. 
The fares throughout are at the rate of 3d., 2d., and Id. a mile 
for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class respectively, a reduction being made 
on return tickets. 

For some reason, perhaps on account of the low freight for 
goods, the railway has never yet proved a profitable concern. A 
revised tariff (thought by some to be excessive), has been 
recently put into operation, and it is hoped that it will yield 
a tangible increase. 

On the whole, accidents on this line are of very rare occurrence, 
the most serious being that of 1885, near St. Joseph, which 
caused loss of life to three persons, besides injuring some others. 
For this the Government has recently awarded compensation to 
the amount of £9,425. 

The rolling-stock comprises : 

1 4 Engines. 

16 Timber trucks. 

3 Horse boxes. 
18 Break vans. 

6 Composite carriages. 

29 Third-class carriages. 
177 Low-sided waggons. 

2 Carriage trucks. 
26 Covered trucks. 

3 Saloon carriages. 

16 Second-class carriages. 

A rather good story is told in connection with this railway. 
When the earliest estimates and plans were being prepared, it is 


said that Mr. Tanner wished to carry the line along the western 
sea-border, draining the swamps, and making, in short, a kind of 
sea-wall. The idea was a grand one, but the scheme was vetoed 
on the score of expense. Talking the matter over shortly after 
with one of his staff, the Director of Public Works was express- 
ing his regret at the non-acceptance of his plan. 

' Oh never mind,' said the sub., ' you will have your sea-line 
all the same.' 

' How do you make that out V said the chief. 
' Why, look here,' was the reply, and pointing to the map of 
Trinidad hanging near ; ' from the capital to San Fernando, 
within the space of thirty miles you pass Caroni, Conupia, 
Carapichiama, Chaguanas, Couva, California, CJaxton Bay, and 
just beyond Cipero ; while following the coast north-west from 
Port-of-Spain, you have Cocorite, Cuesa Valley, Cumana, Care- 
nage, Carrera, Chaguaramas, and Chacachacare — if that does not 
constitute a C line, I don't know what does.' 

Unfortunately for the credit of the story, I am afraid I must 
confess that this conversation could hardly have taken place, 
since no such scheme ever existed, except in the fertile brain 
of some raconteur. 

Mr. Tanner is assisted by a staff of competent engineers, 
clerks, road overseers, railway officials, mechanics, labourers, 
necessary to properly accomplish the important and varied work 
of this large department. Here engineering operations are busily 
carried on in the turners' and fitters' shops, carriages and trucks 
are being built or painted, and, in fact, it is a miniature Crewe or 
Swindon. Within a stone's-throw are the Government saw-mills 
and the lime-kilns. At the head-quarters in Edward Street are 
smiths', carpenters' and plumbers' shops, but these are more for 
dwelling-houses than railway purposes. There, too, are stores of 
a most varied description, from huge drain-pipes, big enough 
to accommodate two or three Roger Tichbornes (fictitious or 
otherwise), to tiny electric-hell handles. 


Crown Lands Department. 

Under the old Court of Intend ant, very little Crown land was 
sold for many years previous to 1868. The sales for the nine- 
teen years, 1847-1865 only amounted to 3,423 acres, and for the 
decade, 1856 to 1865, to only 1,895 acres. No inducements or 
facilities were offered to purchasers, and hence the country was 
little opened up, except in a feeble and unsatisfactory way by 
' squatters.' 

To Sir Arthur Gordon is due the credit of having remedied 
this state of affairs. He reduced the price of Crown land, 
encouraging people, especially ' squatters,' to purchase, but at 
the same time putting down ' squatting ' with a firm hand. In 
this difficult task he was ably seconded by Mr. Eobert Mitchell, 
who was appointed Sub-Intendant. The Court of Intendant up 
to that time (1868) was composed of His Excellency the Intend- 
ant, one of the puisne judges as Assessor, and the Escribano, or 
Secretary to the Intendant. 

In 1868, an ordinance was passed altering the constitution of 
this court, and transferring all its powers in regard to the dis- 
posal and administration of Crown land to the Governor as 
Intendant. The office of Sub-Intendant was also created in 
1869, being held for some years by Mr. E. Mitchell. 

The Sub-Intendant has the management of the Crown lands of 
the Island and Crown Land Department under the direction 
of the Governor, and this office (to which the duties of Escribano 
were subsequently added) has been ably filled for the last ten 
years by Mr. D. Wilson, who is also Commissioner of the Northern 
Province. The Survey Department, under an engineer, Mr. C. 
S. Cochrane, has also been subordinated to this department. 

That this office is accomplishing good work is evinced by the 
steadily increasing acreage sold year by year, and this in spite 
of a long continental depression. 

As stated above, in the ten years up to 1865, only about 1,895 


acres were sold. In the decade ended 31st December, 1887, no 
less than 71,000 acres of Crown land were sold and granted by 
the Crown. 

What is more to the purpose, the lands so granted are being 
rapidly cultivated, chiefly in cacao, and it has been estimated that 
fully a million trees a year have on an average been planted 
during the past ten years. 

Eeceiver-General's Department. 

The Receiver-General, Mr. C. B. Hamilton, is located in a 
cluster of buildings situated at the foot of St. Vincent Street. 
Here, of course, the salaries of public officers are paid, and all 
sums collected for, or due to the Government, are deposited. In 
spite of the long-prevailing depression, the latest returns show 
that the colony has by no means a bad balance. A savings- 
bank is conducted somewhat on the lines of the Post-office banks 
at home, with ' branches in different parts of the island, interest 
being allowed at the rate of three per cent. The total number 
of depositors in 1887 was 4,409, representing £110,282 15s. lid., 
a sum far in excess of previous years. The first Government 
savings-bank in the colony was opened in 1824, but it was for 
the deposits of slaves only, its use being extended to free 
persons four years later. The Excise Warehouse, in which rum 
made in the island is bonded, is also a branch of this depart- 

The Custom House. 

The Customs, when handed over to the British by the capitu- 
lation of 1797, remained exclusively a branch of the Imperial 
Customs for many years. The passing of the Act 8th and 9th 
Victoria enabled Trinidad, with other colonies, to take over the 
control of the department, and it was then worked in connection 
with the Eeceiver-General's department until its separation in 


1877, when a collector was appointed, the present one being 
Mr. John Fanning. Extensive buildings were erected in 1880, in 
place of the inconvenient ones on the St. Vincent Wharf, which 
formerly did duty. Near this spot was the old cemetery. Eefer- 
ence to the statistics at the end of this book will show that the 
commerce of this colony is rapidly increasing. A short distance 
to the east of the Custom-House is 

The Commercial News-Soom, 

which is liberally supplied with the principal English and many 
of the foreign newspapers, magazines, journals and periodicals. 
It serves as a sort of exchange or bourse for the merchants, and 
business men generally assemble at an early hour and discuss 
the burning question of the day, be it the price of sugar, the 
latest quotations in cacao, the prospects of the colony, or the 
condition of Ireland. The subscription is $12 per annum, but an 
introduction from a member will enable a visitor to have the run 
of the News-Room as long as he remains in the colony. The 
adjoining room upstairs is the office of the Harbour Master, 
while below are the headquarters in Trinidad of the West India 
and Panama Telegraph Companj r . You will usually find a small 
crowd of men and boys congregated round the board, where are 
posted, as soon as they arrive, the latest telegrams from Europe. 
It does not follow that they can all of them read. By no means ; 
but they gather by chance crumbs of information from more 
learned and communicative neighbours, and the attitude of 
absorbed attention with which they are scanning the small scrip 
is simply a clever piece of acting by which they keep up appear- 
ances. Why shouldn't they ? Have we not all our little weak- 
nesses and shams 1 Who should cast the first stone 1 

The Harbour Master, Mr. G-. W. Norman, whose offices form part 
of the News-Room building, fills a host of functions, being also 
Coroner for the Gulf, Secretary of the Quarantine Board, and 
Justice of the Peace, with jurisdiction over tariffs, freights, 
wages, etc., of droghers and boatmen. 


The Town Hall. 

The Town Hall is an unpretentious building to the south of the 
courts, in the upper part of which the Municipal body hold their 
meetings, the lower rooms being the offices of the Town Clerk, 
Town Superintendent, and Bailiff. 

Thackeray used to say that when the comic paper Punch was first 
established, there was a member of the staff who knew every joke 
that had been made since the beginning of the world. I cannot 
help thinking that Mr. Syl. Devenish, our worthy Town Super- 
intendent, must come of the same stock. A creolized European 
of Irish descent, he is perhaps one of the most accomplished, the 
most versatile, and is certainly the wittiest man in the island, and 
as an old experienced surveyor, he knows every nook and corner 
of it. I must beg his pardon for taking the liberty of bring- 
ing him prominently forward in this way, though, as he 
is one of the institutions of Trinidad, an apology is scarcely 

The Mayor, of course, presides at all meetings of the borough ; 
the present occupant of this post of honour being Mr. Francis 
Damian, a Creole gentleman, who inaugurated his mayoralty by a 
new departure — a dinner to the Governor, Legislative Council, 
and his brother Councillors. Eound the hall are several really 
fine portraits in oil of some of the earliest English Governors of 
Trinidad, two of them by the master pencil of Sir Joseph Law- 
rence. They are as follows : 

1. Sir Ralph Abercromby, who captured the island in 1797. 

2. Sir Thomas Picton, Lieutenant-Colonel 56th Regiment, 

first British Governor. 

3. Brigadier-General Sir Thomas Hislop (Sir J. Lawrence). 

4. Sir Ralph Woodford, Bart, who laid out Port-of-Spain and 
, founded several of the most important public buildings 

(Sir J, Lawrence). 


5. Lieutenant-Colonel A. W. Young, 1st West-India Regiment, 

Administrator (Eckstein). 

6. Lord Harris, Promoter of Education (E. Faure). 

In .addition to these there is a painting of the arms of Portof 
Spain. The four quarters show respectively the figure of Britannia; 
a full-rigged ship, emblematic of commerce ; a whale, emblematic 
of the whaling industry, which was formerly carried on to some 
extent at the Bocas ; and, lastly, the three palm trees, typical of 
the coconut cultivation ; there is also shown a sort of wreath 
from below, formed by two pieces of arrowing sugar-cane, sub- 
scribed being the legend, 'Vires acquirit eundo.' 

A large circular mahogany table is in the centre of the hall, each 
member of the Council having his own particular seat. 

In the event of a museum being established it would be well if 
the portraits, the stuffed birds, etc., in the Government Buildings 
and the Public Library could be all massed together in one place. 
Very little interest is taken in municipal affairs, and where these 
fine paintings are now, they are lost except to the admiring eyes 
of the City Fathers, and perhaps a few reporters. I am con- 
vinced that a large proportion of the population of the island, 
far from ever having seen them, have never even heard of their 

Formerly this body was known by the high-sounding title of the 
Illustrious Board of Cabildo. As long as St. Joseph was the 
capital its sittings were held there ; the Cabildo took up its 
quarters in Port-of-Spain on August 21st, 17S3. The minutes of 
the Board were kept for the first time in English in 1813. Very 
old volumes of the records of the minutes are to be seen in the 
small chamber adjoining the Council-room, some of them contain- 
ing information of a most interesting character. In 1840 the 
grand-sounding name gave place to the more modest one of Town 
Council. This in its turn was in 1853 changed to Borough Council, 
the name it now bears. In the old days the Cabildo was some- 
thing more than a mere corporation : it regulated and controlled 
the affairs of the island generally, and the Governor presided. 
Close to the Town Hall is the 


Police Barracks, 

a lofty, substantial edifice, built in the Italian-Gothic style, of lime- 
stone, obtained from the Piccadilly quarries. It cost the immense 
sum of nearly £90,000, but it is one of the few really fine build- 
ings in the town, and the massive clock-tower, with the large 
arched galleries above and below, serve to give it an imposing 
appearance. There is a residence attached for the head of 
the force, besides quarters for non-commissioned officers. 
The force now comprises two sub-inspectors and about four 
hundred and fifty armed men, who, under the able direction and 
control of the Inspector-Commandant, Captain A. W. Baker, have 
attained a degree of efficiency highly creditable to themselves and 
to the colony. Several of the senior sergeants are picked men of 
the Irish constabulary, whose stalwart forms ought to carry con- 
viction with them. The spacious, well-ventilated dormitories 
present a smart and orderly appearance, as do also the store-rooms 
and kitchen, etc., clearly indicating a military supervision. The 
lofty recreation-room is furnished with newspapers, draughts, 
dominoes, etc., for the use of the men. The buildings form a 
hollow square, with an arched entrance-passage, leading to a large 
open quadrangle within, which is used as a parade-ground. When 
the Volunteer Corps was first started this was for a long time 
its head-quarters, and it is only quite recently that it has 
migrated to the new Drill Hall in Tranquillity. The police vote 
for 1886 was £28,134. The armoury contains Snider rifles, 
revolvers, swords, all brightly burnished, and ready for immediate 
use, if need be. Here are also the head-quarters of the Volunteer 
Eire Brigade, a voluntary institution, with a few paid firemen, 
who, of course, have to give the whole of their time. The engines, 
hose, and other appliances are well kept, always ready at a moment's 
notice night or day, and have on more than one occasion proved 
of the greatest practical utility. Curiously enough, in 1882 this 
fine building, in • spite of its being the fountain-head of the police 



and fire brigade systems, and although it was even then com- 
paratively new, was completely gutted by a disastrous fire which 
broke out in the lamp-room. It was restored two years later at a 
cost of £15,452, with concrete floors for the upper galleries and 
court-house, iron staircases, and fire-proof roof, rendering it much 
more substantial and less liable to destruction by fire than with 
the pitch-pine floors and staircases which the former building 

Mention has already been made of the well-trained band of 
the police. It is under the direction of Mr. Eudolphsen (late 
Bandmaster of the B.oyal Military College, Sandhurst), and plays 
regularly on certain days at fixed places of public resort in the 

The courtesy of the authorities will doubtless allow you a peep 
at the photographic album of criminals, by which you will get a 
glimpse of a few of the rascals of Trinidad, though doubtless 
there are a good number whose physiognomies do not adorn this 
art collection. 

The view from the top of the tower opens out a delightful 
j>anorama ; the ball on the flag-post is regulated to fall precisely 
at mid-day (Greenwich time). In this building the Stipendiary 
Magistrate of Port-of-Spain holds his daily court ; and here, 
until quite recently, was held the weekly Petty Civil Court. All 
these courts are obliged to have a good staff of interpreters. This 
is a natural consequence where the races of people are of such a 
mixed character. And, with regard to the oath, a Christian must 
be sworn upon the Testament ; a Mahometan, upon a part of the 
Koran ; a Hindu, over a vessel of clear water to remind him of 
his own precious Ganges. 

The Public Library. 

The Public Library, in Chacon Street, midway between Marine 
Square and Holy Trinity Cathedral, was established in 1851, 
under the administration of Lord Harris, who endowed it by 



ordinance with a grant of £300 a year. Prior to this date books 
had been circulated by a body calling themselves the Trinidad 
Library Association, but on the establishment of this new library 
many of the volumes of the old one were purchased. The life and 
soul of it at first was his Honour Judge Knox, who not only lent 
influence, knowledge and valuable time to this undertaking, but 
was also a liberal donor of books and magazines. At one time he 
presented 59, at another 147 volumes ; in fact, Judge Knox may 
be considered to have been the father of the Library, and his 
memory is handed down to posterity by the well-executed bust of 
him in the hall. Amongst other well-disposed individuals who 
assisted to fill the shelves of the Trinidad Public Library were 
Lord Harris, Mr. Fitz- James, Mr. Justice Fitzgerald, etc. It con- 
tains more than eighteen thousand English, French and Spanish 
works, besides a host of journals. The subscription is £1 a year, 
which may be paid in a lump sum or by monthly instalments of 
Is. 8d. There is in connection with it a reading-room, liberally 
supplied with most of the leading newspapers, journals and maga- 
zines — English, French and West Indian. If you do not elect to 
become a member, you will have to pay the sum of Id. every time 
you enter the News Eeading-room during the day ; but as the 
monthly subscription is reasonable, it would be preferable, I 
should think, to pay it at once, which will give you a free entrie 
to the Eeading-room, and the further privilege of taking out of the 
Library six volumes at a time. The Library is opened from 
8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and it contains most of the standard works and 
popular novels of the day. The librarian, Mr. T. W. Carr, is 
quite up to his work, being himself a thorough book-worm, 
and he will be ever ready to lend you any assistance in his 

For many years the Library had been conducted on what might 
be termed stick-in-the-mud lines, but it is now being carried on in 
a much more liberal way. That the changes are appreciated by 
the public is evident by the greatly increased number of sub- 
scribers, and by the constant influx of casual readers. In 1855, 


the number of volumes in the Library was ascertained to be 
8,160; now (18S8) there are at least 18,400, and if we include 
magazines, not less than 21,000. 

A comparison between the years 1885 and 1S87 clearly points 
out the extraordinary progress this institution is making : 



Subscriptions received . 

. $444 60 

$1,052 66 

Total receipts 

$2,293 68 

$3,374 90 

Outlay .... 

12,372 88 

$3,416 15 

Magazines and Vols, bound . 



Number of Vols, added . 



If you have a taste for old lore, the early volumes of local 
newspapers may afford you pastime for an hour or two. No 
English journal, for instance, ever published contained such 
advertisements as, ' For sale, a healthy young negro carpenter and 
his mulatto wife,' or, ' Fifty dollars reward for two runaway 
slaves,' etc., etc. Such incidents as these were not uncommon 
occurrences only about half a century ago. 

Autres temps, auires mmurs ! And yet we rave about the good 
old days of fifty years ago ! 

Do not leave the Library without noticing the splendidly 
illustrated and costly ' Monograph of the Trochilidae, or Family of 
Humming Birds,' by John Gould, F.E.S., the large coloured 
plates being most accurate and life-like. These five volumes 
cost £80. 

The Chief Justice, Sir John Gorrie, who takes a lively interest 
in the welfare of the Library, is chairman of the committee of 
management. A bust of the late Mr. C. W. Warner, by Senor 
Eloy Palacios, a local sculptor, was purchased and added in 1887, 
and quite recently (1888) his Excellency Sir W. Robinson 
has kindly presented a lasso relievo of himself by the same 


General Post-office. 

The earliest Post-office in Trinidad was a small establishment 
in Frederick Street, near the spot where the Venezuelan Dis- 
pensary now stands, and under the charge of a postmistress. 
At that time it was customary to pay for the transport of a 
letter in hard cash, the formality of affixing a portrait of her 
Majesty being dispensed with. The first Trinidad — and, indeed, 
the first West Indian — stamp (known to philatelists as the 'Lady 
McLeod') was issued probably about 1845. In due course the 
post-office was removed to Abercrombie Street, opposite to the 
shop of Mrs. Brodie, who then, as now, retailed stamps, and who 
was indeed for a long period the only individual in the colony 
licensed to do so. After twelve years' stay here, the department 
migrated to King Street, near the Colonial Bank, and finally it 
took up its quarters in the convenient premises it now occupies in 
St. Vincent Street. 

The present chief, Mr. J. A. Bulmer, has had considerable 
experience both at home and abroad, and since his arrival in 
Trinidad has effected several important changes tending to facili- 
tate the business of the department. The sale of postage stamps 
at the head office, introduction of post-cards, registered envelopes 
(these had been only irregularly issued previously), newspaper 
wrappers and surcharge stamps, the extension of the money order 
system by ' through orders ' to all the principal countries of the 
world (France excepted), the extension of the inland money order 
system, the introduction of the parcel post, establishment of re- 
turned letter branch, a private box delivery, etc. — form a long 
list of 

' Something attempted, something done,' 

which certainly tends to show that Mr. Bulmer has not been 
spending his time in vain. 

The Parcel Post, a great accommodation to the public, was 
established between Trinidad and the mother country on 1st 


October, 1885, and it has since been extended to all British 
possessions. It is contemplated starting an Inland Parcel Post, 
which will be an undoubted boon ; at present it is easier and 
cheaper to send a small package to Great Britain than to Toco — 
four thousand miles presenting less difficulty than forty ! 

On an average, 3,277 undelivered letters are returned to the 
senders in the course of a year from inability to find the persons 
to whom they were addressed. I don't wonder at this, if there 
are many like the sample given below, which is enough to turn a 
poor postman's hair gray before its time ! By the courtesy of the 
Postmaster-General, I am enabled to give the following specimen, 
and I think the ingenious person who can decipher any address 
deserves a substantial reward : 

But, besides letters being returned to the senders, in 1885 there 
were 1,551 destroyed outright from sheer inability to discover 
either the writers or the persons for whom they were intended. 
The ' Magar reed ' one had not been opened when I saw it, but 
I should not be surprised to hear that it shared the fate of the 
martyred 1,551 — a veritable ' slaughter of the innocents.' 

The regular mails for Europe leave every alternate Saturday, 
the boxes being closed at 2 p.m. • letters are received an 
hour longer on payment of double postage. The return mails 
from Europe arrive on alternate Fridays. From 1873 to 1876 
the postage to Great Britain was one shilling ; it was then re- 


duced to sixpence, and a year or two after to fourpence, its 
present rate. 

The following statistics of 1885 may be interesting : 

No. of Letters and Postcards forwarded . 156,354 

„ Wrappers and Books . . . 81,126 

Official Letters . . . . 37,516 

,, Registered Letters . . . 6,035 

Government Printing Office. 

This is a large building, 220 feet by 30 feet, situated in Tran- 
quillity, fronting the Tragarete Eoad, and on the red tram route. 
Adjacent is a range of store-rooms, sheds, etc., of the same length 
as the main block, and ten feet in width. Formerly the work 
was done by contract, but on the determination of the Govern- 
ment to. create a printing department of its own the formation of 
it was entrusted to Mr. H. J. Clark, who has shown himself to be 
eminently suitable to undertake the task thus imposed upon him. 
Operations were commenced October, 1873, in a hired house in 
Chacon Street, but on the completion of the new buildings in 
1881 the work was transferred to them. The Tranquillity 
Printing Office cost £2,500, and it appears to be well adapted 
to its purpose. The raised platform at the end enables the 
superintendent's eye to command at once every part of the 
main building, which is undivided. The staff consists of a fore- 
man (Mr. C. Herisson), clerk (Mr. W. Norton), twenty-six com- 
positors, pressmen and boys, a bookbinder, and five assistants. 

The official paper, the Royal Gazette., is issued from this office 

The Government Dairy and Pastures. 

The Government Pastures of St. Ann and Belmont were placed 
under the present Superintendent, Mr. J. B. White, in 1876, 
prior to this date being under the charge of the botanist. They 


were then used in a great measure by the public only, who, 
on payment of a small monthly fee, could place their cattle here. 
The Government did little or nothing in the way of raising stock 
until 1879, when the dairy was started with two cows. In the 
following year St. Clair became the Government farm and dairy, 
the primary object of it being to secure pure milk for the public 
hospitals and asylums at a reasonable cost, and, as a subsidiary 
measure, the improvement of the horned stock of the island. For 
these purposes, the shorthorn from England and the large variety 
of the zebu from India have been introduced, the last named 
with marked success and value to the colony. A public sale for 
the disposal of all surplus stock is held in January of each year. 
Mr. White has not only a practical knowledge of farming, but he 
is also an experienced veterinary surgeon, and the natural conse- 
quence is that the cattle are in prime condition, while the milk is 
exceptionally rich and pure. At the end of December, 1885, the 
stock comprised 220 cows, 16 zebu (Bos Indicus), and 4 Indian 
buffalos (Bos Bubalus) — total, 240. Within the last year a stallion 
of the Norfolk Hackney breed has been added to the establish- 
ment. St. Clair lies to the west of the Queen's Park, and 
is within ten minutes' walk of the red tram terminus at 

The Colonial Bank. 

The local branch of the Colonial Bank, situated on the King 
Street side of this square, has the monopoly of banking affairs in 
the island, except so far as the Government Savings Bank is con- 
cerned. It was opened in 1837, and from time to time efforts 
have been made to start a rival one, but, as in the case of the 
International Bank, the result has been failure, and it is doubtful 
whether a local institution could hope to command sufficient- 
capital to enable it to compete successfully with one established 
on such a sound basis as the Colonial Bank, now in its fiftieth 
year, and which, like Caesar's wife, is above suspicion. This bank 


is incorporated by royal charter, and by its latest balance-sheet, 
just submitted at the one-hundredth half-yearly general meeting 
of the proprietors in London, it is shown to have a subscribed 
capital of £2,000,000 sterling, with a paid-up capital of £600,000. 
The reserve fund is £130,000. For the last three years the 
dividend declared has been at the rate of 10 per cent, per annum, 
a highly satisfactory one, when it is remembered that the West 
Indies have been passing through a severe crisis, owing to the 
depression in the^sugar trade. The bank of the colony is essen- 
tially and necessarily one of the most important institutions. It 
is the very essence and soul of commerce, and I have therefore 
made a point of inquiring into its condition and circumstances, so 
that I could speak with authority upon the matter. The result of 
these investigations has been to convince me at any rate that the 
Colonial Bank is thoroughly deserving of the support and confi- 
dence of- the public. The popular manager of the local branch, 
Mr. W. F. Kirton, besides being a financier of ability, is no mean 
horticulturist, and his collection of orchids is probably second to 
none in the West Indies. 

The Eastern Market 

is situated between Charlotte and George Streets, a little to the 
south of Queen Street. It is the property of the Borough 
Council, and was built in the form of a pavilion in 1848, at a 
cost of £2,000. The side wings were added in 1876, on which 
occasion Governor Irving planted two palmistes. Between the 
hours of 7 and 8 a.m., especially on Sundays, business here is 
of the liveliest, and the mixture of nationalities, amongst both 
buyers and sellers, makes the sight always interesting to 

The Union Club, 

though not strictly a public institution, is yet of such a nature 
that it may fitly be included within the limits of this chapter. 


It is a spacious, well-arranged building, situated in the heart of 
the commercial part of the town, at the foot of Abercrombie 
Street, near the Colonial Bank and opposite the ice establishment. 
It was founded on the 13th of July, 1878, but the new premises 
which had been erected for it were unfortunately burned to the 
ground early in 1884 by a disastrous fire. The members took 
over their present home on the 1st of December, 1884, and the 
building appears eminently adapted to its purpose, being com- 
modious, comfortable and conveniently situated. The billiard 
hall contains three tables, two by Burroughes and Watts, and the 
third by Thurston. The financial condition of the club is sound, 
even in these hard times ; its hospitality is widely known and 
acknowledged ; and visitors doing the round have generally given 
it as their opinion that, as a club, it is second to none in the West 
Indies. Gentlemen making a short stay in the colony are 
admitted by the committee as honorary members for a period 
of one month, on the introduction of two members of the club. 


port-of-spain — roman catholic churches. 

The Cathedral, Marine Square. 

Under the Spanish Government there was only one Bonian 
Catholic Church, which filled the spot now occupied by 
Columbus Square, and this, being small and insignificant, it 
was decided, under Sir E. Woodford, to build a more decent 
one. Its foundation-stone was laid with great ceremony on 
March 24th, 1816. A few years later the Pope appointed a 
Bishop for Port-of-Spain, and the Church became a Cathedral. 
The first service in it was held on April 15th, 1832, on which 
occasion it was blessed by the Bight Bev. Bishop McDonald. 
A little later on it was dedicated by the Most Bev. Archbishop 


Smith. The tower and pinnacles of the building are seen with 
much effect between the trees of Marine Square, otherwise the 
site does not show it off to advantage, the King Street shops 
being too close. The exterior has been recently cleaned and 
restored, causing it to present a new appearance, while the 
elegance and finish of the interior reflect much credit upon the 
architect, Mr. Philip Eeinagle. The numerous windows give 
the church a brightness which is further enhanced by the 
stained glass bull's-eyes above. The large east window contains 
three lights — the middle one, our Saviour bearing a cross and 
scroll, the latter inscribed 'Ego sum via Veritas et vita;' the 
other two, the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. Of the six 
altars the centre marble one, purchased by subscription, was 
made in Florence, by Manini, in 1856. The chapel on the 
left, dedicated to St. Dominique, contains a picture of that 
saint and statues of several others. The chapel to the 
right, that of St. Joseph, has a tablet erected by Monseigneur 
Spaccapietra to commemorate the bishop who preceded him, 
while the marble opposite is in memory of Father Le Goff, 
a hard-working priest. The large picture of St. Joseph's 
Death is worthy of note, as is also the artistic monument 
to Bishop O'Carroll, immediately above which is a picture 
of Our Lord's Ascension. In the vault beneath are.the remains 
of many ecclesiastics, among the latest added being those 
of Monseigneur Hyland. The Chapel of the Blessed Virgin 
on the left contains two pictures, one of the Virgin Mother 
"iving the Bosary to St. Dominique, while her son presents 
the Crown of Thorns to St. Catherine of Sienne ; the other 
shows the Assumption of the Virgin to Heaven. Of the monu- 
ments, one is to Father Trouche, who died of yellow fever in 
1862; the other to Sir B. Woodford, who is called 'Founder 
of the Church.' The inscription of the latter runs, 'The 
inhabitants have caused this monument to be erected as a lasting 
memorial of his many public and private virtues.' The costly 
pulpit was added in 1887. In the niches between its panels are 


statues of the Evangelists, while the panels contain their corres- 
ponding emblems. 

Besides the statues already mentioned are those of St. Peter, 
St. Paul, St. Eose of Lima, and St. Catherine of Alexandria. 
The very handsome font is of marble. In the loft is an organ 
•with three manuals and thirty stops, built by David, of London. 
The towers contain twelve bells, and the clock, added in 1879, 
has three dials. Pope Pius IX. created Port-of-Spain an Arch- 
bishopric in 1870, the cathedral being then dedicated to the 
Immaculate Conception, the feast of which is annually observed 
on December 8th. 

The Presbytery on the south side of the cathedral is a new 
and spacious building, with upwards of fifty rooms in it. Here 
about a dozen priests of the Dominican Order reside, who, being 
of several different nationalities, are thus better able to make 
their ministrations suited to the wants of the parish. In the 
parlour are good portraits of all the bishops and archbishops 
of Port-of-Spain. Visitors desirous of looking over the building 
and grounds may be sure of a courteous reception. 
The following societies meet at the cathedral : — 

Society of St. Dominique. Object : Mutual aid among 
Spanish workmen. . 

„ St. Joseph. 

,, Les Amantes de Jesu (Females). 

„ The Ladies of Charity (Females). 

„ The Young Protectors of Schools (Females). 

„ Le Secours Mutuel (to assist the poor in 
time of sickness). 
Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament. 

„ „ Holy Kosary. 

Society of St. Bose of Lima. 
Trinity Society. 


The Eosary Church, 

at the corner of Park and Charlotte Streets, on the blue tram 
route, is usually well attended. It was erected in 1865, when 
the cathedral was found inadequate for the wants of the Roman 
Catholics. The main altar of marble is a good piece of work- 
manship. Two tribunes, one of them containing the harmonium, 
and a side chapel, have been added to the original building. 
The latter is dedicated to the Holy Face of Jesus, and is very 
handsome. The altar in it is of white stone from France, and 
over it two statues of angels show Christ's face during his 
Passion. The triple east window represents our Saviour, the 
Virgin Mary, and St. Veronica. 

The following societies meet at this chapel : — 

Society of St. Vincent' de Paul (charitable). 
Confraternity of the Holy Face. 

„ ,, Blessed Sacrament. 

„ „ Scapular. 

The Church of the Sacred Heart 

is at the corner of Lower Prince and Eichmond Streets, near 
the Police Barracks and red tram route, in the district known 
as Corbeau Town. It has been recently built for the English- 
speaking Catholics, and is considered by many to be the most 
elegant church in Port-of-Spain. Both exterior and interior 
present an attractive appearance, and everything is in harmony. 
The fine altar of native wood is surmounted by a statue of the 
Sacred Heart of Jesus, on either side of which is an adoring 
angel. Beneath it the figure of La Madre Dolorosa supports in 
her arms the body of our Saviour. The stations of the Cross 
are superior to those generally seen, being really works of art. 
Over the vestry door are figures of the Crucifixion. The carved 
cedar pulpit, the ornate chancel screen, the stained roof, the 


substantial seats, all display great care and correct taste. In 
connection with this church are — 

The Society of the Sacred Heart. 

The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament. 

A Friendly Society. 
The Dominican Fathers, though living at the Presbytery, 
perform the different daily services in the above three churches 
besides officiating in the outlying districts. 

The Chapel of Our Lady of Laventille 

is finely situated on the summit of one of the eastern hills over- 
looking the town, and about half an hour's walk from it. The 
white stone tower affords a landmark which may be distinguished 
far and wide. From this spot one of the most magnificent of the 
many beautiful views in the neighbourhood can be obtained : 
Port-of-Spain with its many signs of vitality at your feet ; the 
broad placid gulf, with its numerous boats and steamers busily 
flitting hither and thither ; the Spanish Main beyond, and land- 
ward the green hills of Montserrat, Tamana, St. Joseph, and San 
Fernando — all these combined form one of Nature's chefs d'muvre, 
a picture that can scarcely be surpassed. In connection with 
this church is the Society of Nossa Senhora de Agosto (Portuguese). 
Not far from this church are two old forts, the more conspi- 
cuous one known as Picton's Fort, the other being now almost 
concealed by the overgrowth of bush. Near by is a small opening 
in the ground leading to a subterranean cave of considerable 
breadth and about fifteen feet in depth. This was, perhaps, 
formerly used for the concealment of treasure from the Spanish 
Main, or it may have been a smugglers' resort. Some years ago 
it was explored by some gentlemen, who accomplished the rather 
hazardous descent by means of ropes and what little assistance 
could be obtained from the growing lianes. They found, among 
other relics, a large empty chest and a stout iron crowbar, which 
latter has been turned to good account, for one of the party, a 


merchant, has since constantly utilized it to make his store secure 
for the night. 

The Chapel of Mount Calvary 

is in a line with Park Street to the east, on the hill and near the 
Dry River. Close by live some veiled nuns from Venezuela. A 
road from this chapel towards Duke Street has fourteen monu- 
ments by Fabriche, of Lyons, representing the Stations of the 
Cross. Every Friday during Lent, as early as six o'clock in the 
morning, crowds of people may be seen following up the Way of 
the Cross. 

The College Chapel 

is an iron building in Clarence Street, on the grounds of the 
college of the Immaculate Conception. It has a fine marble altar, 
and is well attended. Occasionally, choral masses are celebrated 
here with full orchestra. 

The Convent Chapel 

is on the grounds of the convent of the Nuns of St. Joseph in 
Kent Street. The marble altar, surrounded by statues of angels 
and saints, is worthy of notice. 

St. Patrick's Church, 

New Town, near the red tram route, was built by the late Father 
Lynch, and is now under the charge of another secular Irish priest. 
As this part of the town has greatly increased of late years, it has 
been found necessary to enlarge the original building. This, 
together with other improvements, has been mainly effected by the 
zeal and liberality of a few Catholic ladies living in the neighbour- 

The Chapel of St. Vincent de Paul, 

near the Dry Eiver, is in connection with l'Hospice. 




The earliest record of the Church of England in Trinidad dates 
from June, 1801, when the register of baptisms begins. Its only 
clergyman for twenty-two years was the Rev. J. H. Clapham, 
whose marriage ceremony, in January, 1807, was performed by 
Governor Hislop. He styles himself at first Brigade Chaplain, 
but from December, 1802, Rector of Port-of-Spain. The date, 
1813, on the oldest vessels of the altar and the church books, 
marks the earliest year of Sir Ralph Woodford's administration. 
Divine service was then performed in the Cabildo Hall, at the 
north-east corner of Brunswick Square ; and a story is told that, 
on one occasion, when good Sir Ralph found the Rev Mr. 
Clapham's discourse was waxing tedious, he sent his A.D.C. to the 
preacher with his card, on which he had pencilled the significant 
words, ' Balance next Sunday.' Ic is almost needless to add that 
the hint was at once taken. 

In 1844 the island was by ordinance divided into sixteen 
Anglican parishes, of which six were endowed as rectories, and 
others as island curacies, two of them being never endowed at all. 
After this the number of clergy and of places of worship rapidly 
increased. At present there are, exclusive of the bishop, fifteen 
clergy, four catechists, thirty-three churches and chapels, and five 
temporary places of worship. The grant from the local Govern- 
ment is £3,576, and from the Imperial Treasury £250. Of the 
thirty-three above-mentioned [churches, sixteen have been built 
or re-built, and five enlarged, within the last ten years. 

Holy Trinity Cathedral, 

in Brunswick Square, was opened for divine service fas a Church) 
on Trinity Sunday, 1823. The form of ceremonial observed on 


the occasion was drawn up by Sir Ealph Woodford, whose hearty- 
interest in everything connected with the church is recorded in 
the newspapers of that period. An inventory of 'furniture and 
appurtenances for the church' in his handwriting, which has 
been preserved, is an interesting memento, showing how liberally 
he provided for it. For instance, 'six covers of silk crimson 
damask for the communion table ; 2 doz. damask napkins ; more 
than 50 volumes (Bibles, Prayer and office books), all hand- 
somely bound in Eussia-leather ; a complete outfit for the 
beadles — hats, staves, and gowns (red, trimmed with blue tufts 
and facings),' etc. The magnificent ' Macklin Bible in seven 
volumes,' and another in two volumes, 'folio royal, elegantly- 
bound, with gold clasps, for the altar,' are still to be seen in good 
repair at the rectory. He added flagon, chalice and paten to 
the sacred vessels, dated 1813, which had been used when the 
service was held in the Cabildo Hall; the large alms-dish was 
a legacy received after his death, as its inscription states. The 
church was placed in charge of commissioners, with Chief Justice 
Ashton Warner as president. His Excellency 'very strongly 
entreats his Honour to send for a proper organist to teach the 
boys, and to make "them a monthly allowance . . . and that they 
be in surplices.' Later the same records relate, 'he very much 
regrets that the commissioners cannot meet the expenses of a 
proper organist, and he heartily endorses the offer of the colonel 
commanding the troops to lend his bandmaster.' He suggests 
also 'that the bells be ordered to ring on holidays, such as St. 
George's day.' 

He had provided six bells, besides one for the clock, but 
though they were mounted with wheels and ropes complete, he 
had not the satisfaction of hearing a joyous peal from them at 
the opening, for campanology was an art then unknown in 

The church itself (now the cathedral) is a handsome stone 
edifice of the Gothic style, built from the designs of Mr. Philip 
Eeinagle, colonial secretary in the time of Sir Ealph. The 


bishop of the diocese, the Eight Eev. Eichard Eawle, M.A., 
formerly Principal of Codrington College, Barbados, was conse- 
crated in 1872 at Lichfield.* The Eev. A. E. Smith, for several 
years Senior Assistant-Curate, is now Bector of the parish. 
There is a fine monument to Sir E. Woodford, by Chantrey, and 
a chaste mural tablet to Lady Harris, wife of Governor Lord 
Harris. Amongst the other tablets are those in memory of Lady 
Hill, Majdr-General Dundas, and several members of the Bushe, 
Warner, Scott, and Wilson families. The handsome brass 
lectern, given by the late Mrs. Bon. Feast (formerly Mrs. Preau) 
and the roof of hard wood and cedar, are both fine features. 
The large oil-painting in the vestry, which was the work of 
Mme. Lamarfcine, daughter of Colonel Birch, used to be placed 
over the altar. The latter is a worthy specimen of West Indian 
carving, done by a native of Barbados. The organ the best in 
the island, has two manuals and twenty stops, and the name of 
the organist, the Eev. W. S. Doorly, is one always grateful to all 
lovers of good music in Trinidad. The present peal of eight 
bells (with the exception of one), and the chiming apparatus, 
were given by Bishop Eawle, who is liberality itself in all that 
concerns the church. The service in the evening is choral, all 
others semi-choral. One or two slight additions would make 
this a magnificent cathedral — an enlarged chancel with suitable 
choir-stalls, and a good east window. When shall we see these ? 
The view of the town and surroundings from the top of the 
tower will quite repay the visitor for the trouble of ascending. 

All Saints Church 
is a Gothic edifice in New Town, faciDg the Queen's Park and 
close to the red tram terminus in Tranquillity. The foundation- 
stone was laid in 1844 by Lady McLeod, wife of the Governor 
of that period, and the building when completed was consecrated 
by Bishop Parry of Barbados, as a chapel-of-ease for Trinity 

* Bishop Eawle has just resigned on account of advancing years and 
the recent death of his much lamented wife (May, 1888). 


parish. It has been recently enlarged and restored by the 
exertions of the Rev. L. A. Taitt, and it may now be considered 
the prettiest of all the Anglican churches. The stained east 
window, given by Lord Harris, has three lights : in the centre 
our Saviour ; the sides, St. John the Evangelist with the sym- 
bolic eagle, and St. Paul with the Book of Epistles and the sword 
of martyrdom. Another stained window, representing the 
Ascension of our Lord, was given by the widow of the late Mr. 
Preau, of Sp'ing Estate, Couva. The lectern and the altar- 
cross, both of brass, were the gift of the late Hon. J. Scott Bushe, 
C.M.G-. ; the font was presented by Mr. 0. Farnum, church- 
warden; the altar rails by the Hon. J. E. Tanner; the fibre 
matting by the Hon. F. "Warner, and the altar vases by friends 
in Tewkesbury. At present there is only a harmonium, but 
a good organ is being constructed, which will be a great ac- 

Originally All Saints was simply a plain nave. It is now 
a large cruciform church with chancel and transepts, each of 
half the length of the nave, and of equal breadth and height, 
so that its former area is doubled. The new roof is of excellent 
construction, the diagonal principals at the intersection of the 
transepts and nave being a fine feature of it. 

Belmont Chapel, 

about a mile and a half from the town (cab fare Is. 6d.), was built 
by the efforts of the Rev. W. B. Laurie, nearly thirty years ago, 
being then intended for a school-room, in which services were to 
be held occasionally. A few years ago the school was closed, and 
it is now officially known as Belmont Chapel. All the sittings, 
to the number of 200, are free, and service is held every Sunday 
at 8 a.m. The wooden building has seen its best days, but more 
than half the amount required to erect a new church has already 
been raised. 

Besides the churches named, there are two others served by 


the Port-of-Spain clergy, namely, St. Agnes in Peru Village, and 
St. Matthias in Laventille. 

In 1886 the sum of £3,494 was paid from the Treasury 
towards the maintenance of the Church of England in Trinidad, 
the Roman Catholics receiving £6.000 as their proportion. 
Originally the Anglican church had a larger sum, but the amount 
is being reduced by degrees on. the death or retirement of any 
clergyman or catechist until the sum of £3,000 is reached, beyond 
which no further reduction is to be made. The calculation, 
assuming the Church of Rome to be in the ratio of two to one to 
the Anglican Church in this island, was, I believe, based upon 
the number of marriages recorded by the different denominations 
within a given period, no religious census having ever been 
taken. It must be allowed that of late there has been a large 
influx of immigrants from the neighbouring Protestant islands, 
which ought to have materially increased the Church of England 
membership. That this division of the State funds is an equit- 
able one is therefore open to question; but in any case the 
religious census, so often promised, would settle the matter and 
place it beyond dispute. 

presbyterian, wesleyan and baptist churches. 

The Presbyterian Church. 

The Presbyterian Church has flourished in Trinidad since 1836. 
Scotchmen are proverbially pushing, enterprising, and thorough in 
all that they undertake, whether the work be religious or secular. 
They have the best stores in our chief towns, and, as a natural 
consequence, are amongst the most prosperous in the island. The. 
first minister, Rev. Alex. Kennedy, who came to labour in 
Trinidad, arrived 25th January, 1836. A building in Cambridge 
Street, which had been used as a theatre, was fitted up as a place 


of worship, and opened for service on the 25 th day of September 
in the same year. This building seemed to have had its vicissi- 
tudes, for after being discarded by the Presbyterians it became 
a hospital. The next year they commenced a ' kirk ' of their own, 
and on the 25th January, 1838, it was opened under the historic 
name of Grey Friars. 

The Rev. Mr. Kennedy, who left the island many years ago, 
was an out-and-out abolitionist, and indeed made enemies in high 
places by his energetic vindication of the rights and privileges of 
the then recently-freed coloured people. He is still living; and 
last year (1887) — a hale, hearty old octogenarian — he wrote out to 
one of his Trinidad friends : ' A very spring-tide of reminiscences 
rushes in on me while thus writing. What a vista to look back ! 
It is fifty-one years since I first visited and preached at Milton 
Estate, Couva !' Good, worthy man ! he would open his eyes 
with Eip Van Winkle wonderment if he could see the Trinidad 
of 1888. 

Grey Friars is an exceedingly pretty, neat church, with a good 
roof of native woods, situated on the north-eastern side of 
Brunswick Square, on the blue tram route. A memorial tablet 
to the memory of the late Eev. George Brodie, who served the 
great Master long and faithfully here, has been erected by the 
members of the congregation. In the choir gallery is a good 
American organ. The building was enlarged and almost rebuilt 
in 1877 at a cost of $12,000. This church has from the first de- 
clined State aid, relying entirely upon the liberality of its 
members for support. It would appear that this confidence is by 
no means misplaced, for on a recent occasion, when making a 
special effort to pay off the debt on the new manse lately built in 
Tranquillity, the splendid sum of $900 (about £180) was raised 
by collection among the congregation on one Sunday. 

At the death of Mr. Brodie the Eev. Alexander Falconer was 
appointed, who, after labouring with much acceptance for eight 
years, resigned his charge. The present pastor is the Rev. 
William Aitken, M.A., previously minister of the Scotch church, 


Singapore, S.S. The members are largely composed of Scotch 
settlers, or their descendants, but there is also a goodly number 
of various other sections of the community. 

A commodious and elegant Sabbath-school hall, costing §4,000 
and capable of seating nearly 400 people, was built in 1887, con- 
tiguous to the church. A Band of Hope and a Penny Savings 
Bank have just been started here. 

The Presbyterian Free Church, 

St. Ann's Road, as its name implies, is in connection with the Free 
Church of Scotland, a Church which has all along taken a deep 
interest in the British colonies. She loves to follow the fortunes 
of her expatriated sons, and see how it fares with them in the homes 
of their adoption. And Trinidad has been no exception to the rule. 
The Presbyterian congregation at Sau Fernando was formed under 
the auspices of the Free Church. But it is with Port-of-Spain that 
its connection has been closest and longest. It arose in this way : 
Under the faithful labours of Dr. Kalley, Mr. Hewitson, and other 
devoted Free Churchmen, a great religious awakening took place 
in Madeira in the years 1845 and 1846, during which a number 
of the Maderenses left the Roman Catholic Church and became 
Protestants. Suffering much persecution, they at last, like the 
Pilgrim Fathers of old, resolved to seek a land where they would 
be at liberty to worship God according to the dictates of con- 
science, and they chose Trinidad. In 1848 it was reported to the 
General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland that there 
were 900 Maderenses in the island. Mr. de Silva, a catechist at 
first, was at length ordained as their pastor. His ministry, how- 
ever, cut short by death, lasted only for a year. He was suc- 
ceeded in 1850 by Mr. Henry Vieira, in the first instance, as 
catechist, but in 1854, having been ordained by the Free Church 
Presbytery of Glasgow, he became pastor. In 1872 Mr. Vieira 
accepted a call from a number of Maderenses who had settled in 
Illinois, but during his ministry in 1853 the Free Church in St. 
Ann's Eoad had been built. From the preceding narrative it will 


be seen that from the day the foundation-stone was laid the 
church and congregation were part and parcel of the Free Church 
of Scotland. In 1873 the Eev. D. M. Walker, minister of Port 
Elizabeth, South Africa, a very worthy man, was selected as 
pastor, and accepted the appointment. For a time Mr. Walker 
preached once every Sabbath in the Portuguese tongue, he having 
rapidly learned the language. But at length a knowledge of 
English had been sufficiently acquired by the refugees and their 
families for the services to be solely conducted in that language. 
The innovation, so to say, was not effected, as might have been 
expected, with the acquiescence of all. But it was rendered 
almost necessary from the considerable number of Scotch people 
who, in the course of time, had connected themselves with the 
congregation, and for whom two Sabbath services had to be pro- 
vided. Mr. Walker paid a visit to his native land in 1880 to 
recruit failing health, but returned to his charge only to die in 
October of that year. He was succeeded early in 18S1 by the 
Eev. Alick M. Ramsay, the present minister. The change effected 
in Mr. Walker's time has, of course, been continued. The Free 
Church congregation is now composed of Portuguese, Scotch, 
English, Irish, Germans, Americans, and Creoles, and no other 
language but English would be of any use. Like all the other 
Presbyterian Churches in the island, the Free Church declines 
State aid, and relies for support on the liberality of its members 
and adherents. The church occupies an admirable position, close 
to the tramway line on the St. Ann's Eoad. When the sun of 
prosperity again shines on our island, the pastor and the congre- 
gation are looking forward to doing something towards rendering 
the building more attractive, more worthy of its situation, more 
worthy of the Church to which it belongs, of which it forms an 
integral part — the Free Church of Scotland. 

Arouca, in the neighbourhood of sugar estates, is pleasantly 
situated on both sides of the Eastern Eoyal Eoad, twelve miles 
from Port-of-Spain, and along which the railway line runs to 
Arima. Systematic mission work was begun in this village as 


the centre in 1840 by the Rev. George Brodie. A site was 
purchased from Government and a church and manse were 
erected 'in 1842. A day-school was also organized. Till the 
Presbyterians occupied the field there were neither schools nor 
meetings for religious instruction in the whole district. Between 
the removal of Mr. Brodie to Port-of-Spain in 1849 and the 
arrival of the next minister, the Rev. George Lambert, in the 
beginning of 1854, the congregation suffered much from the 
want of a regular ministry, but under Mr. Lambert's ministry the 
membership gradually advanced and acquired influence in the 
community. In 1862 Mr. Lambert was removed to San Fernando, 
and was succeeded by the present pastor, the Rev. Win. F. Dickson, 
from Jamaica, who has actively and successfully carried on the 
work there for a quarter of a century. The church has been 
twice renovated, and a new manse, substantial and commodious, 
has been recently erected. 

San Fernando. — About the year 1850 a number of Presbyterians 
here, desiring to organize a Presbyterian Church in the place, 
were formed into a congregation, with the Rev. F. Church as their 
first minister. A grant of land was obtained and a church built 
in 1851. The congregation has had rather frequent changes of 
ministers, the present one being the Rev. S. H. "Wilson, M.A. 
Some time after the erection of the church a manse was provided 
for the minister. The church has been twice restored, and a 
spire and vestry added. 

The Presbyterian Mission to Indian Immigrants. 

This mission, a Canadian one, dates back to the close of 1867. 
The first station occupied was Iere Village, where One of the 
American Presbyterian Churches had previous to this built a church 
and manse, and had carried on religious work in behalf of the Creole 
population. This American body gave over their buildings to the 
Canadian Church, and Rev. John Morton was appointed to this 
station, which a few years later was changed for Princes' Town, 
as being at once a more suitable centre and a more healthy 


locality. In 1870 the Eev. Kenneth J. Grant was appointed to 
open a new station at San Fernando. As the mission progressed, 
Couva in 1874 and Tunapuna in 1881 were adopted as new fields 
of work; the Eev. J. M. Christie being sent to occupy the 
former, and the Eev. J. W. McLeod to Princes' Town in room of 
Mr. Morton, who was transferred to the new field in Tunapuna. 
More recently, an English-speaking congregation has been formed 
in Couva under the superintendence of the Missionary. These 
sentences map out the ground occupied by the Presbyterian 
mission to the Indians in Trinidad. 
The present staff is as follows : — 




Rev. John Morton 
„ K.J.Grant 
„ Lai Behari 
„ J.K.Wright 
„ John Hendrie 
„ "W. L. McCrae ... 


San Fernando ... 

St. Joseph 
Princes' Town ... 

" 1867 
Ordained in Trinidad 1882 

Messrs. Christie and McLeod having been removed by death. 

Each of these centres, except St. Joseph, has a manse, church, 
and school-house. The principles of Presbyterian polity are 
strictly maintained in carrying on the mission, so that no 
missionary is subject to any other individual missionary. A 
most important part of the work of the mission is the teaching 
and training of the young in schools established in suitable 

The report of 1885 shows forty-two schools in operation, with 
an aggregate roll of 1,965, and a daily average of 1,369. The 
missionaries have been dependent for teachers very largely upon 
material that they have taught and trained on the ground, and 
these native agents have in most cases done well, and in some 
cases more than well. Latterly, however, the Church in Canada 
has wisely sent out, for the several schools at the centres, trained 
lady teachers, who have much influence for good alike over 


parents and children, and do much better work both in the week- 
day and Sabbath-schools than native teachers could be expected 
to do. The present staff is Miss Blackadder, Princes' Town ; 
Miss Semple, Tacarigua ; and Miss Copeland, San Fernando. 

It is a pleasing thing to be able to say that nearly two-thirds 
of the amount necessary for carrying on this work is provided in 
the island. The liberality of the Indians themselves is ample 
proof that they appreciate the work done among them. Last 
year they contributed voluntarily £317 sterling. 

The proprietors have from the beginning manifested the most 
cordial sympathy, and even in hard times have given most 
generous support. In 1885 they gave £831 sterling. The 
Government, too, have shown an appreciative interest in the 
educational work of the mission, and contributed towards this 
work in 1885, £915 sterling. 

This mission, which has been worked hitherto with vigour and 
success, gives promise of a yet more useful and successful future. 

Wesleyan Methodist Church. 

The Wesleyans are tolerably numerous in Trinidad, probably 
numbering not less than 2,800 members, although, of course, it is 
difficult to form even an approximate calculation in the absence 
of any reliable information such as could be obtained from a 
religious census. They have two day-schools, giving instruction 
to 220 children, and three Sabbath-schools, with an aggregate of 
500 scholars. Methodism was introduced into the island from 
Grenada by the Eev. G. Talboys about the year 1810. At first 
this gentleman had to undergo some amount of persecution. An 
attempt was made to get rid of him on the ground that he was 
promulgating doctrines inimical to the safety and welfare of the 
colony, and his enemies tried to make capital out of the fact 
that he claimed exemption from serving in the militia. For- 
tunately for Methodism, Governor Hislop took a more enlightened 
view of matters, and acting contrary to the wishes of his advisers, 
he protected Mr. Talboys from the machinations of his foes. 


The Port-of-Spain Chapel, situated at the corner of Duke and 
Hanover Streets, near the red tram route, is a goodly building, 
seating upwards of 600 persons. The foundation stone was laid 
on March 2, 1826, by the Hon. H. Gloster, Protector of Slaves 
and Sjmdic Procurator of the Illustrious Board of Cabildo, the 
missionaries at that time in the colony being the Kev. G. Woolley 
and J. Stephenson ; in the following year the chapel was opened 
for Divine service. There is a vague tradition that it was partly 
erected by slaves. The gallery was added in 1837 by the Rev. 
George Beard ; and it was further improved by the Bev. John 
Blackwell in 1842. In 1S85 it was again enlarged and otherwise 
improved. A mural tablet, purchased by subscription, has been 
placed in memory of the Bev. W. Cleaver, a native of Trinidad, 
and for many years an earnest and faithful worker in this 

The Methodists carry on their operations in various parts of the 
island — San Fernando, Princes' Town, Couva and Diego Martin. 
The San Fernando chapel, a neat, lofty edifice, was erected in 
1881, the old one having been found too small for their increasing 
congregation. The Princes' Town chapel is also a very good one. 
Members of the Wesleyan persuasion are not to be found so 
much among the natives of Trinidad as among the immigrants 
from the neighbouring Protestant islands, who are constantly 
swelling the total in this colony. 

Quite recently a temporary iron church has been placed in the 
Port-of-Spain suburb of Tranquillity. It faces the Tragarete Boad, 
on the red tram route, and is a perfect model of a mission 
church, such as one is accustomed to see in the illustrations of a 
missionary magazine. The foundation-stone was laid on the 18th 
of March, 1886, by his Excellency Sir William Bobinson, 
K.C.M.G., and it was opened a few months later. 

The Methodist system insists that no minister shall stay any 
length of time in his circuit, consequently every few years there 
is a change of pastors. The present chairman of the Trinidad 
district, the Bev. H. Adams, is carrying on the work with zeal 



and ability. Ministers are also resident in Couva, Princes' Town 
and San Fernando. Mr. Adams advocates the temperance cause 
with much eloquence, and has established a Blue Eibbon Army, 
and a Band of Hope in connection with his church. A Friendly 
Society, though only started in 1886, has eighty members. 

There is a small body of African Episcopal Methodists, who do 
not appear to be connected with the older church other than by 
name. It was introduced into Trinidad about four years ago, 
but seems not to have made much headway. This sect took its 
rise in the States, where the black and coloured people were, and 
still are to some extent, denied church-membership with the 
whites. Happily there is no such exclusiveness in this colony, 
and there is, therefore, perhaps little need for the existence of a 
branch of the African Episcopal Methodist Church here, unless, 
indeed, it can be clearly shown that it reaches a class of people 
hitherto untouched by the other religious bodies. 

The Baptist Mission. 

This evangelistic work was commenced in Trinidad in 1S43, 
under the auspices of the London Baptist Mission, by the Rev. 
George Cowen, in a small room in Corbeau Town, a district in 
the western part of Port-of-Spain. This gentleman had for 
some years previously been superintendent of the schools of the 
Mico Charity. He laboured unceasingly in his new sphere until 
his death, which occurred about ten years after. He died as a. 
soldier should, in harness ; but he had been spared long enough 
to be assured that the seed which he had planted had, in some 
instances at least, sprung up and brought forth fruit. The first 
little chapel was situated near the Dry Biver. 

Soon, to meet the growing requirements of the population, a 
second missionary, the Rev. J. Law, was sent out by the parent 
society. He took charge of the Port-of-Spain work, while Mr. 
Cowen went to the Savanna Grande district, where he estab- 
lished mission stations, one after another, in the different villages 


of the quarter. These villages had been settled by ex-slaves 
of the Southern States, who, having been enrolled by the English 
against their former masters, were, at the close of the short war, 
brought to Trinidad. These people are even now somewhat 
primitive in their religion as in their habits. They still keep up 
many of the traditions of the old American camp-meetings of 
slavery times, and particularly observe the period between Good 
Friday and Easter Monday as a time of high festivity. Some of 
their semi-religious open-air gatherings would strike the unac- 
customed eye and ear as being rather peculiar. The pastors set 
their faces steadily and sternly against these proceedings, and 
they are by degrees dying out ; but it is difficult at all times 
to eradicate deep-rooted notions, and particularly among these 
descendants of the old soldiers, who, clannish as Scotchmen, are 
as distinct from the ordinary African as can be, and conservative to 
the backbone in all that relates to the customs of their forefathers. 

In 1856 the Eev. W. H. Gamble was sent out from home, and 
now, thirty years later, he is still carrying on the work with much 
energy and success in Port-of-Spain. His church (St. John's), in 
Pembroke Street, near the Brunswick Square, was built shortly 
before his arrival, at a cost of $5,000, having been opened on 
March 14th, 1854. It was considerably enlarged and improved, 
and, indeed, practically rebuilt by Mr. Gamble's exertions in 
1883, when the sum of $7,000 was expended on it; the present 
neat edifice being in every way suited to its purpose. 

The Kev. "W. Williams, who is located at San Fernando, came 
to the island in 1874, and has under his care eleven stations. A 
small building for worship has recently been erected at Tortuga, 
(Montserrat), another being in course of completion at Moruga. 
The prospects of the new station at Princes' Town are reported as 
encouraging. It is stated that in this district during the last ten 
years the Baptists have increased nearly fifty per cent. 

The Baptists, like the Presbyterians, decline State aid, relying 
entirely upon their own resources, the result being that their 
members contribute most liberally to the support of their church. 





All the Medical Institutions and the Medical Officers of districts, 
to the number of twenty-six, are under the direction and super- 
vision of the Surgeon-General, Dr. S. L. Crane, C.M.G., whose 
headquarters are in St. Vincent Street, near the Treasury and 
Public Works Department. Here, too, are the Dispensary and 
Health Office, where persons in indigent circumstances, and 
paupers, being sick, may get advice and medicines either at a 
small charge or for nothing, as the case may warrant. Patients 
who are too ill to attend the Health Office Dispensary are visited 
by one of the District Medical Officers, or sent to the 

Colonial Hospital, 

which is a spacious two-storied building in the Sfc. Ann's Eoad, 
quite near the Queen's Park, and on the blue tram route, the 
main building containing six wards. It is about 400 feet long 
and 64 feet wide, and is the work of a native architect, Mr. 
Samuel, having cost at the outset £31,830. The wide, airy 
galleries on the first floor and the noble staircase are fine features. 
The grounds were formerly known as Orange Grove, and here 
stood the old Military Barracks. In connection with the main 
building are quarters for the Medical Officers and Dispenser, 
besides laundry, bakery, storeroom, mortuary, etc. It is in charge 
of a resident surgeon (Dr. E. H. E. Knaggs), with three assistant- 
surgeons and three supernumeraries (the latter attached to the 
hospital when not required for duty elsewhere), with an ample 
staff of about sixty-eight officials, nurses, and attendants. Un- 
fortunately, large as this building appears to be — and it is usually 
considered to be, without exception, the finest in the West Indies 
■ — it is scarcely equal to the wants of the community. It has 


accommodation conveniently for four hundred patients, but it is 
more often than not overcrowded. 

In the year 18S6 there were 5,020 cases admitted, of which 
4,423 were discharged and 510 died. The average number of 
patients throughout the year was 525. The last annual report 
shows that no cases of yellow fever, small-pox, typhoid fever or 
erysipelas were received either at this or at the San Fernando 
Hospital. This being purely a Government institution, it gets 
no aid by voluntary contributions, as do hospitals at home. The 
fact that it is ever full of the sick cannot be taken as evidence 
of the unhealthiness of the island ; it is rather due to so many 
of the country districts being without local infirmaries. By 
degrees these are being supplied, and the strain on the town 
hospital is thus gradually becoming less severe. There are four 
grades of patients, who are classified according to the rates of 
payment they make. Thus, the pauper or lowest class is ad- 
mitted free ; the second class, comprising domestic servants and 
labourers, pay, or must have paid for them, one shilling per diem ; 
the third class, two shillings per diem ; and the remaining or 
highest class, five shillings a day. For the last-named sum the 
invalid is secured privacy in the shape of a small screened-off 
room. In other respects there is little difference made between 
the different grades of patients. If you wish to have a look over 
the hospital — and it is quite worth a visit — you must apply to the 
officer in charge. The grounds are large and nicely kept ; while 
the brightness of the institution and its surroundings cannot fail 
to have a beneficial effect upon the suffering ones within. In the 
dispensary is a fair collection of specimens of malformations, etc. 

The Lunatic Asylum 

is on the Belmont Circular, about five minutes' walk from the 
blue tram terminus, the cab fare from town being 48 cents (2s.). 
It was commenced in the time of Governor Elliott, and cost 
£10,332. The institution started with forty patients. Before 


1873, lunatics could not be placed under restraint unless they 
had broken the peace. The number of patients admitted in 
1887 was 109 ; the daily average number resident for tbe year 
was 342. The premises cover an extent of twelve acres, the 
buildings comprising residences for the head attendants, offices, 
stores, a dispensary, sixteen dormitories, four day-rooms, forty- 
seven single rooms, and a recreation hall to seat 140 persons. A 
weekly dance is given, and amusements, such as games, cards, 
etc., are provided. 

It is under the charge of a medical superintendent (Dr. G. 
Seccombe), with resident male and female head attendants, all 
of whom have had experience in similar institutions at home. 
There is a staff of about forty-five subordinates, of whom the male 
and female attendants wear a neat uniform, which no doubt has 
its duly imposing and repressing effect upon the refractory. No 
mechanical restraint is used at any time in the treatment of 
mental disease. The patients are of divers nationalities, the 
Coolie element forming a large proportion, probably owing to the 
indulgence of this people in excessive rum-drinking, the use of 
opium and the pernicious ganja, coupled with their neglect to take 
proper nourishing food. The unfortunate inmates are kindly but 
judiciously treated, no pains being spared with them. Each one 
is encouraged to perform a certain amount of light work, and 
this, together with the amusements and recreations provided in 
the concert-hall, in which latter the medical superintendent him- 
self takes an active interest, serves to keep the poor souls from 
brooding over their real or imaginary troubles. As in the case of 
the Colonial Hospital, the accommodation is insufficient, but steps 
are being taken by the Government to remedy this. 

The Leper Asylum, 

Cocorite, is situated in the Diego Martin Road, two and a half 
miles from Port-of-Spain, and about a mile beyond the garrison. 
The cab fare is 72 cents (3s.) These buildings were originally 


barracks, then the stores of the Ordnance Department, but they 
were purchased by Sir H. McLeod from the Home Government 
in 1845 and applied to their present use. There are two large 
blocks, running east and west, with open galleries, the resi- 
dence of the almoner or Eoman Catholic chaplain being in the 
centre, and those of the officers in a separate building at the 
back. The Gulf is quite close, so that there is a good piece of 
beach for bathing near by among the coconuts. The Medical 
Superintendent, Dr. B. N. Rake, has made the various phases of 
this loathsome disease a special study. The seven nurses are all 
ladies of the Dominican Order, including one who performs the 
duties of dispenser, and they are. under the supervision of a 
Mother-Superintendent. It speaks volumes for the piety and 
devotion of these excellent women (all Europeans, and some of 
them delicately nurtured), that they should voluntarily sacrifice 
themselves to a work which must be horribly repugnant to most 
people. It will require a little moral courage to visit this insti- 
tution, but, as in many other cases, the shadow is more formidable 
than the substance, the idea than the reality. Besides, you need 
not see the worst cases, which are in truth almost too sickening. 
. There are, on an average, about 180 patients. The little chapel 
does duty for both Roman Catholic and Church of England 
services. It certainly at first strikes one as being rather a novel 
sight to see a chapel of such limited dimensions suiting the 
requirements • of each denomination in its turn, but one gets 
used to it in Trinidad. 

. Before leaving this subject I should like to mention that 
pictorial newspapers and magazines, such as the Graphic, Illus- 
trated London News, Punch, Cassell's Magazine, etc., and in fact any 
periodicals, whether illustrated or not, are greedily devoured by 
the patients of all these institutions. I have no authority for 
doing so, but I may be allowed perhaps to throw out the sugges- 
tion, that people in town, instead of pitching their old literature 
into the wastgpaper-basket, should send it off to one or other of 
the hospitals. 


The Eoyal Gaol. 

This grim block of buildings is in Clarence Street, near the 
blue tram route, and is hidden from the gaze of the outer world 
by a wall 320 feet by 256 feet, and 22 feet in height, which 
encloses it. The prison was built in 1812, but it has been' greatly 
improved and enlarged, and forms, since its latest additions, a 
complete cross, 210 feet in length and 60 feet in breadth. The 
heavy iron gate, the ponderous shackles overhead, and the 
dignified motto, 'Pro rege et lege,' are highly suggestive and 
characteristic. During 1886 there were 4,363 persons committed 
to gaol, of whom 3,423 were convicted, and 27 were for debt. 
As nearly as possible, half the number (1,736) were Coolies. 
The number of deaths for the same year was ten, including one 
judicial execution — a remarkably low rate of mortality. The 
infirmary occupies the upper story of the western arm of the 
cross, and here the sick are carefully tended, a medical officer 
visiting them daily — oftener if necessary. A striking feature of 
the institution, and one conducing materially to its healthiness, is 
its cleanliness. There are 182 separate cells. The prisoners here 
do shot drill as penal labour, but no treadmill or crank work. 
The males do also quarrying stone, breaking road metal, and they 
work at trades (making coffins for the paupers who die in hospital), 
pick coconut fibre, and make mats, besides gaol service. The in- 
dentured immigrants under sentence are employed keeping in order 
the grounds of Government House and the Botanical Gardens. 
The females do needlework, wash prisoners' clothes, and break 
fine metal. 

Thus the goal becomes almost independent of the outside 
world. Though the majority of those committed are labourers, 
not unfrequently trades are represented. To quote the words 
of an official: 'We bake our own bread, make our own. 
clothes, repair our own shoes, drills, and other quarry tools, 
do our own painting, carpentering, hand lime-washing,' etc., 


Inside the gaol, one warder has charge of thirty prisoners, but 
for outside work the proportion is one to ten. Eleven hours are 
allowed for sleep, warders on duty patrolling every half-hour. In 
1886 fifteen convicts managed to escape, ten from gangs at 
Chaguanas Depot, which, with dense forest near at hand, offers 
rather tempting inducements, and three from gangs working near 
Port-of-Spain ; of the whole, thirteen were recaptured. The 
total cost of prisoners in 1886, including pay of staff, was 
£10,106 2s. 3d., each one on an average costing the colony about 
ll^d. per diem, but if all the labour were paid for that is done, 
this sum would be reduced to 3Jd. daily. Anglican and Roman 
Catholic chaplains attend regularly for weekly services, and 
occasionally ministers of other denominations. Any prisoner of 
more than twelve months' sentence may, by industry, gain good 
marks, which will obtain his liberation on ticket of leave or 
license at the expiry of three-fourths his sentence. Scholastic 
instruction is given to males who are undergoing sentence of a 
year and over. 

About 1850 a new law was passed, imposing severer restrictions 
and penalties upon persons imprisoned for debt. Crowds of 
people, resenting this, gathered round Government Buildings 
and broke every window. The black troops were called out, the 
Eiot Act read, the order to fire was given, and it was not till a 
few of the rioters had been wounded that the mob were dispersed 
and peace restored. 

The present head of the Eoyal Gaol (Mr. Harley), who is 
officially styled Superintendent of Prisons, has filled the post 
fourteen years. He has about sixty subordinates. The warders, 
stalwart fellows, dressed in a neat blue uniform with red piping, 
are armed with stout balata staves, something like a shortened old 
English quarter-staff of the middle ages. A blow from one of 
them would not be a matter to look forward to, but there is not a 
great deal of that sort of thing done now. 

' Cutting and wounding,' as it is legally termed, is much too 
prevalent amongst the lowest classes here ; it is essentially a 


Barbadian feature, and a judicious application of the 'cat,' which 
is at present only resorted to in serious and repeated breaches of 
prison discipline, would go far to stamp it out, as at home, some 
years ago, it effectually got rid of the garrotting nuisance. The 
extreme penalty of the law is inflicted within the gaol from a 
quiet, innocent-looking gallery at the southern end of the long 

The daily average of prisoners in 1886 was 586, of whom 57 
were of the gentler sex, belonging mostly to what are called here 
the diamUre class. It will be observed that the proportion of 
females in durance vile is very small, and these are chiefly for 
minor offences, such as disorderly conduct in the streets. The 
female prison is the old wooden building to the south of the 
block. For years the need of one separated from the male prison, 
and with better arrangements, has been recognised, though 
nothing has been done, but it seems we are to have one at 
ast ! 

The males wear coarse canvas suits, somewhat resembling the 
Portland summer ones, with caps black, red or yellow, the 
' black ' colour denoting the wearer to be a ' felon,' and that 
he has had the honour of being sentenced by the Supreme 

Long-sentence prisoners are entitled to a visit from friends once 
in each half-year, but in extreme illness they are never denied this 
privilege. Debtors and untried prisoners may see friends twice a 
week, and even oftener if to aid their defence. The officer com- 
manding her Majesty's troops and certain Government officials 
are visitors ex-officio, and can enter to inspect at any time, day or 

We have no reformatory system in Trinidad at present, 
although the question has been mooted more than once. 
Thanks, however, to the energetic and liberal policy of Sir 
"William Robinson, there seems to be a likelihood that the 
subject will at length receive proper attention. It is not improb- 
able that the sending of a youngster to prison for a trifling 


first offence, thus bringing him into contact with miscreants of the 
lowest type of infamy, may often result in converting him into a 
life-long criminal; whereas the wholesome moral influence and re- 
straint of reformatory training, teaching the youth how to become 
a decent, honest, and useful member of the community, might be 
the means of saving him. I have spent a quarter of a century 
working myself amongst boys and young men, and, knowing full 
well the efficacy of sound moral and religious training, I cannot 
help feeling that in Trinidad, where the crying evil is immorality, 
there is not sufficient done to rescue the poor little waifs and 
strays of humanity who are, as it were, born and bred to a life 
of degradation and crime. 

The chapel, as is usual in Government institutions, does duty 
for both Anglicans and Roman Catholics ; it is large and airy, 
being 103 feet by 30 feet, but I need hardly say that it - is not 
overdone with ecclesiastical ornaments ; the religion of criminals 
should evidently be of an austere, not a sentimental, type. 
Formerly the gaol was used as a lunatic asylum. The diet pro- 
vided is of the simplest kind, quality and quantity being calcu- 
lated to a nicety, so as to be just enough to keep a working man 
in health. 

Chagxjanas Prison Depot. 

This convict settlement is about six miles from the Chaguanas 
Station (San Fernando line). Here, on an .average, are 150 
prisoners, who are employed cutting tracts through the forest, 
making and repairing roads, and growing plantains and other 
vegetables for the prisoners' food. A few years ago 3,000 maho- 
gany trees were planted by them in the neighbourhood of the 
dep6t, but only one-third of them have survived, and these do not 
look in a very flourishing condition. At the 1886 Exhibition 
some very good axe-handles, felloes, spokes, and other wooden 
implements, the work of the convicts, were exhibited. 

The dep6t is becoming important as a model farm, where sub- 


sidiary industries are tried, and their suitableness to Trinidad 
fairly tested. During a visit the writer paid, a few weeks ago, 
(January, 1888), the Superintendent, Mr. Meaden, very kindly 
showed him some excellent mats and blinds made from the 
cocorite palm, and beautifully polished tables of locust, roble, 
and other native woods, all convict work. The neatly put-up 
boxes of meals made from sweet potato and plantain, starch from 
the tania, and the curious specimens of dried plantain, were most 
interesting. Almost every description of vegetable that can be 
turned to account in. the institution is cultivated with care. Para 
grass, which is very abundant here, is sent daily to Port-of-Spain 
and San Fernando for the use of the police horses. 

There are at this depfit 123 separate cells. A tramway con- 
nects it with Montrose Estate, from whence it is carried on to 
the sea, the first part being Government, and the other Montrose 

The 30th of June, 1887, was a red-letter day in Trinidadian 
gaol life. In honour of her Majesty's Jubilee, his Excellency Sir 
William Robinson visited and discharged twenty-four prisoners on 
free pardons, ten more on convict licenses, besides considerably 
reducing the sentences of several others. 

The Inspector of Prisons, Mr. L. M. Fraser, who should be an 
authority on the subject, considers that the proportion of crime 
(in the strictest sense of the word) in Trinidad is small as com- 
pared with other colonies. 

Coolie Orphan Home and Industrial School, 

Tacarigua (Church of England). This was established as an 
Orphan Home mainly by the exertions of the late Mr. Eccles, 
and was formally opened by Governor Keate inU857y It is sup- 
ported partly by Government and partly by subscriptions. In 
November, 1876, it became an Industrial School, open to children 
of any race. The ordinance enacts that ' any child found begging, 
or receiving alms, or wandering and not having any home or 

', look 
le age | 


settled place of abode, or proper guardianship, or visible means 
of subsistence, or frequenting the company of reputed thieves, 
may be sent by stipendiary justices of the peace to an industrial 
school.' The Orphanage is pleasantly situated near the Tacarigua 
Railway Station, about ten miles from Port-of-Spain. The 
journey by rail takes thirty-five minutes, the return fare being 
half-a-crown. The scholars, of whom there are about sixtj', look 
exceedingly picturesque in their neat uniform dress. At the 
of fifteen, girls as well as boys are indentured out for three y< 
This institution, which was for many years conducted by the Rev. 
H. Richards, is now under the charge of the Rev. A. Ramsden, 
Rector of St. Mary's, Tacarigua, who is thoroughly reorganizing it. 
The grounds are well kept, the fountain having been given from 
the Eccles Memorial Fund, though the cost of erection was 
defrayed by Mr. W. H. Burnley, a wealthy proprietor in the 
district, who took a warm interest, not only in this work, but in 
all that pertained to the welfare of the colony. 

St. Dominick's Orphanage (R. 0.) 

stands upon the Bellevue Hill, Belmont, about five minutes' walk 
from the Wash House corner (blue tram route), the cab fare being 
thirty cents. The site was generously given by the late Mr. L. A. 
Le Roy. It was founded in 1871 for orphan children of either 
sex, irrespective of race. The youngsters, to the number at present 
of about 125, are under the charge of Dominican Nuns, who 
belong to the same society as those of the Cocorite Leper Asylum. 
Both boys and girls are trained to industrial work, and it is no 
uncommon sight to see the venerable and respected Father 
Forestier in the grounds surrounded by a troop of boys digging 
away for tanias, sweet potatoes, etc., to be taken about the town 
afterwards by them in a little donkey-cart for sale. As in the 
Tacarigua Home, the scholars are apprenticed at the age of fifteen 
— Government contributing £10 per annum to both institutions 


for each child whom it sends. The new buildings were opened in 
1879, the small but elegant little chapel having been added about 
four years ago. 

House of Refuge, St. Clair. 

This is about five minutes' walk from the red tram terminus in 
Tranquillity, and is a Government institution established for 
incurables and aged and infirm paupers (male and female) from 
the rural districts. The Medical Superintendent (Dr. Knaggs) 
attends daily, and there is a Resident Superintendent (Mrs. Dar- 
went), with eleven nurses, wardsmen, etc., to look after the 190 
inmates. The wards are clean and well kept. Visitors are 
admitted from 9.30 to 12.30 any day except "Wednesday and 

Adjacent to this building, but in no way connected with it, is a 
Convalescent Ward for the Colonial Hospital. 

The Borough Asylum, Aeiapita, 

in Shine's Pasture, about four minutes' walk from the red tram 
route, is an institution similar in nature to the preceding one, but 
intended for aged and infirm persons of indigent circumstances 
belonging to the town, and it is the property of the Borough 
Council. The entrance is from Richmond Street. For some time 
subscription lists have been going about, and entertainments of 
various kinds given in aid of a ' Gordon' Memorial Fund. It is 
now determined that the money collected shall be devoied to the 
building of a new wing to this Asylum, which is quite inadequate 
for the wants of Port-of-Spain. It could scarcely be applied to a 
better purpose. This and the House of Refuge are the nearest 
approach to a Workhouse or Union that we have in Trinidad. It 
is under the charge of a matron (Miss Winniette), and is well 
managed — the number of inmates in 1886 being fifty-six. 



near the Eosary and blue tram route, was established by Arch- 
bishop Spaccapietra for aged and infirm poor. At the present 
time there are eighteen inmates. In connection with it is the 
Chapel of St. Vincent de Paul. 

Alms House, 

Kent Street and Oxford Street corner (Church of England). This 
is for a limited number of females in reduced circumstances, who 
must be of good character. There are now fifteen residents. 

Nazareth Asylum (R. C.) 

provides lodging for aged persons of good character who are 
destitute of means of support. It is maintained by public sub- 
scription, gathered by a few ladies. It was started by a Mrs. 
David, and shelters at the present time twenty-five inmates. 



Three trains run daily to and from Arima, except on Sundays, 
when there are only two, the fare being sixty-four cents single, 
and ninety-six cents return, second-class. 

Bidding good-bye to Port-of-Spain, the first object to strike the 
eye is a plain white stone building on the eminence — the Govern- 
ment magazine for the storing of gunpowder, ammunition, with 
other explosives and inflammable commodities, which the public are 


only allowed to keep in limited quantities. The quarries near by 
are worked by gangs of convicts, and furnish good material for 

High on the hill is the little Church (R. C; of our Lady of 
Laventille, a landmark for many miles ; near to it being the 
martello-like Fort Picton. 

You will catch just a glimpse of a boon to thirsty pedestrians — ■ 
the Drinking Fountain, considerately placed by Lord Harris on 
the road. 

In the same way you get a peep of the small Anglican 
and Roman Catholic Churches in Success Village. Laventille, 
belonging to Messrs. Turnbull, the first estate, is apparently being 
abandoned, so far as sugar is concerned ; it would make a capital 
stock-farm. The manager's house, on the hill, stands alone in its 
glory, in what ought to be a splendid situation, if it is not too 
near the marshes. 

Mr. Andre Blazini's Barataria is on the left, just before coming 
to San Juan. I am afraid the Trinidad railway-stations will 
not compare at all favourably with some of the pretty rural 
English ones — economy is the order of the day. 

San Juan Village, about half a mile distant, is said to be even 
older than St. Joseph ; and the inhabitants, in spite of its 
proximity to town, are primitive in their habits. 

The. Roman Catholic Church is a substantial, though now rather 
ancient building, erected by Mr. G. Revell. Close by is the neat 
Presbytery, and opposite to it, the police-station. 

The Protestant Church of St. John is nearer to St. Joseph than 
to the parish to which it belongs. 

To the right of the San Juan railway-station, the works with 
the five iron chimneys are those of the Colonial Company's El 
Socorro, where the system in vogue is that of Fryer's Patent 

The road to the left leads to the lovely Santa Cruz Valley. 
Rolling over the iron bridge you soon catch a glimpse of the 
Roman Catholic Church between the trees. 


On the right, the Aranjuez estate (Mr. A. Blazini) is considered 
most fertile. Besides its steam-power it can be also worked by a 
water-wheel, the odd-looking wooden gutter which you see supply- 
ing the water for the motive power. A large building has been 
lately constructed for a complete Vacuum Pan plant. 

A little farther on is a curious circus-shaped house, the original 
factory of the old St. Clair estate, where the mill was worked by 
cattle. The building near it, fenced in with iron railings, is the 
hospital for indentured labourers. The crossing known as Le 
Vivier Gap, just where the line curves, was the scene of one of 
the few serious accidents that have occurred since the formation of 
the railway. 

The St. Joseph District Hospital on the left, near the railway- 
station, is a recent and highly useful addition to our institutions, 
though it appears to be situated in rather inconvenient proximity 
to the line. 

Valsayn, the next estate on the right, belongs to Mr. P. Giuseppi. 
Here there is little or no planting of canes, the system being one 
of perpetual ratooning. It is stated that in some parts of the 
estate the canes growing were originally planted half a century 
ago. No indentured Coolies are employed, and, though the plan 
adopted seems somewhat primitive, there can be no doubt that the 
sugar turned out is of first-rate quality. The two sons of H.B.H. 
the Prince of Wales visited these works, describing what they 
saw in their book, ' The Cruise of H.M.S. Bacclmnte.' The 
Hon. Leon Giuseppi occupies the residence, which, though old, 
is certainly, from its associations, one of the most interesting 
in the colony. In the drawing-room was signed, by Don Chacon, 
the Capitulation Treaty by which Trinidad became a British 
possession. Sir Ealph Abercrombie and Admiral Harvey were 
the two representatives of England on the occasion, and amongst 
those present was a certain Don Jose' Mayan, who, as Teniente de 
Justicia Mayor of San Jos6 de Orufia, was an important function- 
ary. The portraits of this gentleman, his wife and daughter, adorn 
the drawing-room, now as they did nearly a hundred years ago, 



and Mr. Giuseppi points to these interesting heirlooms with 
justifiable pride. In 1525, when Sir Walter Ealeigh steered his 
boats up the Caroni, landed his men and set fire to St. Joseph, he 
marched through what is now the Valsayn Orchard. This 
orchard, by the way, is capitally stocked with all kinds of tropical 
fruit trees, including many, as the litchi, wang-pi, lokatu from far- 
off quarters of the globe. One rare specimen planted by Don 
Mayan, said to be the only one of the kind in the island, was 
photographed by the last Government botanist, Mr. Prestoe, who 
sent a copy, together with a description of it, to Kew. As the 
correspondence, however, did not lead to its identification, Mr. 
Prestoe cut the Gordian knot by dubbing it Giuseppini. A few of 
the trees have been planted by royal hands ; thus, two fine young 
palmistes, planted by the two English Princes in 1881, and a 
couple of Portugal oranges in ] 886 by the Count and Countess de 
Bardi — a delicate compliment to the latter, who is a Princess of 
the House of Braganza. 

St. Joseph, which was for many years the Spanish capital, was 
founded about 1584 by Don Antonio de Berrio y Oruiia, one of 
the first conquistadores. It is delightfully situated on the rising 
ground at the foot of the northern ridge of hills. The Roman 
Catholic Church — and only one in the town — is a lofty edifice, 
accommodating 600 people, the foundation stone having been laid 
by the energetic Sir Ralph Woodford in 1815. The fine stained 
east window, representing the Holy Family, was presented by the 
late Mrs. Bernard ; the two smaller ones of SS. John and 
Andrew by the late Mgr. Orsini. This hard-working priest, 
who was of noble Corsican birth, has a monument (with well- 
executed bust) to his memory on the south side of the chancel. 
..while opposite is a tablet to Mgr. Farfan, the first Creole priest, 
'and a member of one of the oldest families in the island. The 
marble altar was unfortunately damaged during its transit from 
Europe. There are several statues of the Blessed Virgin, besides 
those of the Sacred Heart, St. Philomene, St. Ann, etc. 


A curious feature of the churchyard is an old tomb, the last 
resting-place of the ancestors of the Farfan family, which bears 
the following inscription : 

£>d a 




This is the tomb of Dona Isabel Fermin y Pardo de Villegas, 
and her heirs. 

A neat enclosure contains the remains of Don Mayan and the 
Giuseppi family. I had almost omitted to mention a fact given 
by Mr. G-. Borde in his ' History of Trinidad,' that in the church 
choir are buried a certain Mgr. Nicolas Gervais de la Bride and 
his two chaplains, Franciscan monks, all of whom were treacher- 
ously murdered by Indians in 1733. 

The oldest society in the island is one in connection with this 



church, and it still retains its Spanish name, Sociedad de Santissima 
Hermanidad, founded by Don Antonio de Berrio in 1644. Some 
of its records, which, I am glad to say, are carefully kept, date far 
back into the last eenturj'. 

Beyond the church is a savanuah, where the barracks stood 
formerly, the main buildings being ou the left of the road, the 
parade-ground and stables on the right. In 1S38 a serious 
mutiny broke out amongst the black troops then stationed here, 
which was not quelled without some loss of life. Three of 
the ringleaders were sentenced to death, and were shot almost 
exactly where the convent now stands, at the east end of the 
savannah. A railed enclosure marks the graves of several English 

It is now quite time to continue our journey towards Arima. 
Opposite Valsayn, the hills contain some strata of gypsum. 
Passing the police barracks, a good concrete building erected a 
few years ago, where are stationed a sergeant and seven subordi- 
nates, we soon come to the signal-box. Here the southern line 
branches to San Fernando ; we, however, go eastward. The 
large new residence close to the line on the left is called by its 
owner, Mr. H. A. Green, Hill View House, but is jocularly nick- 
named by his friends ' Green's Folly.' Folly or no folly, it com- 
mands a splendid expanse of view over the Caroni plain, and a 
still better one, though not quite so extensive, of Mount Tamana 
and the Montserrat Hills. To see any of these hills when the 
bright poui and gorgeous bois irnmorlel are in full bloom is a sight 
not to be forgotten. On the right is the extensive estate of 
St. Avgustin (now in the hands of the Court of Bankruptcy), the 
nearest building being the Coolie hospital. The works are of recent 
construction, designed and executed by Mr. H. A. Green, one of 
the leading engineers in the colony. The electric light and other 
modern appliances have been adopted here. Streatham Lodge, 
close to the railway-station on the right, formerly belonged to the 
Hon. M. Pasea, but it is now merged into St. Augustin. Tuna- 
puna is a thriving village, and, unlike St. Joseph, which may be 


considered almost entirely Roman Catholic, it has mainly a Pro- 
testant population. There is a branch of the Canadian Presby- 
terian mission here, with a new chapel, under the charge of the 
Rev. John Morton. This excellent minister is oddly described 
by Kingsley, in 'At Last,' as the ' sensible man who wore a white 
coat instead of the absurd regulation black one.' A neat little 
Anglican church has just been opened, the principal feature of 
which is its pretty stained window — the subject, 'I am the Good 

Macoya estate on the right and El Dorado on the left, both fine 
properties, are owned by the legatees of the late Alexander 
McClean. From El Dorado runs the bridle-path leading through 
another of Trinidad's lovely valleys. To come to the island on 
pleasure and stay any length of time without taking a ride up 
Caura Valley would be a downright sin. The luxuriant tropical 
vegetation, with its giant trees, gorgeous shrubs, fantastic creepers 
and dainty ferns lining the hill-sides — the deliciously cool and 
sparkling stream, now meandering gently along, then rushing 
down a miniature rapid, tumbling over huge boulders, and sud- 
denly turning round corners like a harum-scarum schoolboy just 
let loose — all gratify and charm the senses. Whoever can go 
through one of Nature's gardens, such as this, without coming out 
a better man than he entered, must have something radically 
wrong with his constitution. But there is another attraction, one 
not generally known, and for the knowledge of which I am in- 
debted to the courtesy of Mr. L. J. Lange, sworn surveyor, who 
discovered it himself in March, 1880. After riding about seven 
miles from El Dorado, and following a track (on foot) through 
virgin forest for a mile and a quarter, you are rewarded with 
the sight of a splendid cascade of 337 feet height, with a 
far greater volume than that of Maracas, and forming a basin 
of clear cold water at the foot, highly suggestive of a bath. 

To the left of Tacarigua Station is the Orphan Home (see 
Chapter XL), to the right the parish church of St. Mary. The ' 
foundation stone of the latter was laid in 1842 by Colonel Sir 


Charles Chichester, administrator, and the building was enlarged 
in 1879. Amongst other attractions it has an organ, a rara avis 
in the country parishes, though, it must be confessed, a rather 
ancient one. 

Paradise Estate on the right is also in the hands of the Court 
of Bankruptcy. Here a splendidly cool bath has been formed by 
a dam of the river. The pastures of Orange Grove remind one 
irresistibly of our beautiful parks at home. The large house is 
the residence of Mr. John Cumming, one of the leading merchants, 
and the largest land-owner in Trinidad. Orange Grove itself 
belongs to Mr. W. F. Burnley, a son of the late Hon. W. H. 
Burnley, frequently mentioned in these pages as taking an active 
interest in public affairs some forty or fifty years ago. The Usine 
is a fine one, being quite new and well arranged. Dinsley, on the 
right, is another new Vacuum Pan estate, the property of Mr. R. 
P. Pile of Barbados. Beyond are Cane Farm on one side and 
Laurel Hill on the other, both belonging to Mr. Fritz Zurcher; 
The latter has a fine avenue of coconut palms leading to 
the works. St. Clair Estate (Mr. J. Olton's) is just before 
reaching the Arouca Village. The latter contains a Roman 
Catholic Church, a Presbyterian Kirk, and an Anglican Mission 
Chapel. Bon Air on the right, which gains its name from the 
extreme salubrity of the locality, has a fine residence. Both this 
and the next one, Garden, are the property of the legatees of the 
late Mr. Alexander McClean. Arouca station is a few hundred 
yards to the left of the village, which boasts of two elementary 
schools. The gap to the right leads to Golden Grove (Mr. Le 
Bl anc's), about three miles off; beyond that to the fine bridge 
I over the Caroni. Tacarigua, Arouca and Arirna were originally 
Indian settlements, with their missions, but by degrees the 
aborigines were driven eastward, or died out, till at last there 
were only a few left at Arima, where they lived a lazy, indolent 
life. To the left is La Flmissante (the property of Mr. Le Blanc), 
a very healthy spot. Farther on is the small sugar estate of 
Santa Rosa, the property of Mr. C. Cleaver, who has also the 


neighbouring cacao estate, Mausica. As you near Arima the 
sugar cultivation almost ceases, giving way mainly to cacao, which 
may be seen extending far into the heights. To the north of the 
town of Arima are situated the very fine and well-known pro- 
perties, Torricella (Mr. Strickland) and Verdant Vale (Mr. A.Warner). 
Arima is fast blooming into importance with its multifarious 
streets, shops, post-office, cabs, etc. One of the latter will convey 
you from the station into the heart of the town for what Mr. 
Mantalini would term the ridiculously insignificant sum of one 
shilling ! The Arima natural savannah is of good size, and being 
the happy possessor of a grand stand, there must of necessity be 
annual races. On the west side of the savannah are the district 
hospital and doctor's residence ; at the north-east corner, the 
market. The majority of the inhabitants of Arima are Roman 
Catholics, who have a good stone church in Woodford Street, 
facing Lord Harris's square and dedicated to Sta. Rosa, the 
■patron saint of the town. The little chapel of St. Joseph in it 
has a marble altar, and the tower contains four bells, quite a piece 
of extravagance for a rural district. On one side of the church is 
the presbytery, and on the other the convent school, while on 
the opposite side of the square are the police-station and the 
Government school for girls, that for boys being near the 
Anglican place of worship. The latter, dedicated to St. Simon 
and St. Jude, is a perfect little gem. It was consecrated 
December 21st, 1885, and is built of concrete and native wood. 
The centre of the three stained windows represents the Crucifixion, 
with prominent figures of St. Mary and St. John ; the other two 
are respectively St. Simon and St. Jude. At the east end mosaic 
tiles ornament the wall to a height of six feet, forming an 
effective reredos. The chancel is raised two steps higher than 
the nave, and the altar three above the chancel. The cost of 
building was about £1,100, of which sum good Bishop Rawle, 
with his usual open-handed liberality, contributed more than half, 
the rest being subscribed by friends in Trinidad, Grenada, 
Barbados and England. 


Allusion has been made to the Indian settlement which existed 
here formerly. Being gradually driven eastward from the haunts 
of civilization, they left Tacarigua and Arouca to congregate 
round the heights of Arima, where they enjoyed a sort of 
municipal government of their own, each head of a family haviDg 
his own conuco or allotment. Over them all presided two officials, 
a corregidor or magistrate and a protector. The fete of Sta. 
Rosa on the 29 th of August was always a gala day with them ; 
dancing, sports and games were publicly held in Lord Harris's 
Square, the inhabitants of the surrounding districts coming some- 
times a long distance to take part in the gaieties. Even the 
governor with his staff honoured the proceedings with his 
presence. Then 

1 Toil remitting lent its turn to play, 
And all the village train, from labour free, 
Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree ; 
While many a pastime circled in the shade, 
The young contending as the old survey'd.' 

But, to quote again from the same source, ' times are altered,' the 
Indians at least are gone, and the once famous fete is now chiefly 
commemorated, at any fate by the bulk of the people, by the 
annual races, coupled with not a little extra gambling and 

The magistrate's court is held at the police - station, being 
presided over by Mr. L. P. Pierre, S.J. P. He and the warden 
(Mr. Harris Harragin) are both energetic and popular officials. 



The different estates and objects of interest on the line between 
Port-of-Spain and St. Joseph Junction have already been enu- 
merated in the previous chapter. It will therefore be necessary 


to take up the journey only from the point where the line 
branches off, viz., at the signal-box between St. Joseph and 
Timapuna. Here you will turn sharply round in a southerly 
direction, leaving St. Auguslin Works on your left and passing 
through the estate. After crossing the iron bridge over the 
Caroni, you reach the station, which is named, like the district, 
after the river. To the right are the hospital and factory of 
Frederick (Mr. Gregor Turnbnll). On the public road to the west 
of Frederick is another substantial iron bridge spanning the river. 
The road from the back of the station leads to St. Clair (Mr. F. 
Zurcher), Mon Jaloux (Mr. Q. Kelly), and several cacao estates 
along the bank of the river. Beyond these is St. Helena (Messrs. 
G. Turnbull and Co.), where is the very fine new iron bridge 
alluded to in the former chapter as being on the road from 
Golden Grove. Still farther is a Coolie settlement, with several 
more cacao estates, the principal being those of Mr. Centeno. 

It was originally proposed to extend the railway system to 
Cumuto. Three and a half miles of embankment were thrown 
up, bridges constructed, and a mile and a quarter of rails laid 
down at a cost of £5,000, when the work was abandoned, I be- 
lieve by order of the then Secretary of State. The first station 
would have been St. Helena, and from Cumuto in all probability 
the line would have eventually reached Mayaro. 

Parties bent on alligator shooting frequently have their boat 
sent from town up the Caroni to meet them here or at the 
adjacent estate of McLeod Plain. Still better sport, however, is 
to be obtained at a small lake about two miles inland, known as 
the Bejucal. Here alligators, wild birds, and the queer armour- 
coated cascadoura positively swarm. 

Following the rail again from Caroni Station, on the right is 
Wilderness (Mr. J. W. Warren); Mr. F. Zurcher's Mon Plaisir 
faces the Cunupia Station; This part of the country is becoming 
famous for the cultivation of tobacco and limes by Mr. C. Fabien, 
who has been successful both with regard to the growth and the 
manufacture of the fragrant weed. A propos of tobacco, his 


Excellency has just published a smart little brochure advocating 
the growing of this plant, and certainly the recent experiments 
have clearly shown that there is no earthly reason why we must 
either pay an exorbitant price for the Havana article, or else as 
an alternative have badly made-up cabbage-leaf foisted upon us. 
Mr. Fabien's best cigars at the recent exhibition were of very 
good quality. Mr. Anderson, who has had some experience in 
that line, is also going in for the cultivation and manufacture of 
tobacco and cigars. 

Leaving Cunupia Station, Reform (Messrs. Coryat and E. 
Cipriani) is the next estate on the right, and beyond it Lionize. 
(Mr. Cornilliac). I omitted to state the rather interesting fact 
that the site of the little Anglican chapel at Cunupia was given 
by a wealthy heathen Coolie living in the quarter. 

St. Charles, a small estate belonging to Mr. C. Smith, is on the 
right near Chaguanas, while beyond it on the left is Endeavour (Mr. 
Bene de Verteuil). Opposite the latter is Woodford Lodge, the 
property of the Hon. G. Fitt and Mr. S. Henderson. The oscil- 
lated centrifugal sugar system, adopted first on Messrs. Tennant's 
estate, Inverness, has been improved upon here, with highly satis- 
factory results. The soil of Chaguanas, especially in the vicinity 
of the sea, is of the description commonly known as ' crab-land,' 
from the innumerable holes in the surface made by the land-crabs. 
Chaguanas has generally the reputation of being a dreary kill-joy 
sort of place, suggestive of muddy roads and legions of mosquitos 
and sand-flies. So it may be, but the forests and high woods are 
full of hidden treasures that the keen and vigilant eye of the 
naturalist will spy out and gloat over. The Noel Baptist Chapel 
in McDonald Valley of this district is interesting as having been 
built partly by subscriptions of the neighbouring planters, but 
mainly by contributions from the Sunday-school children of John 
Street Church, Bedford Eow, London. 

You cross the Chaguanas road immediately before entering the 
station. A village is gradually springing up in this neighbourhood. 
A new police-station and a district hospital have been built, the 


latter standing upon land purchased from the owners of Perse- 
verance, while shops and houses are rapidly appearing here and 
there. To the east lies the Montrose cacao estate (Hon. G. Fitt) 
and Mr. Brunton's sugar estate, Edinburgh. Beyond these is the 
Convict Depot. (See Chapter XL) To the west lies Perseverance 
(Messrs. T. Daniel and Sons), and Chaguanas Village with its 
Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. A new church is being 
built for the former denomination quite close to the line. Beyond 
the village are Trafalgar (Messrs. Cadet and Ambard), Petersfield 
(Colonial Company), Aclela (Mr. J. Coryat), and near the bay 
Messrs. Daniel's large estate FeliciU. The proprietors of the last 
named generously gave a site for a new "Wesleyan Chapel erected 
in 1878. Cane cultivation has recently been abandoned on FeliciU, 
the intention of the proprietors being to bring it under cacao and 
possibly other crops. 

Taking up the route again from the railway, you pass through 
unopened lands, the huge trees, with their burden of parasites, 
not having yet succumbed to the woodman's axe. When nearing 
Carapichaima, on the right you catch a glimpse of the fine Waterloo 
works (Mr. J. Cumming), furnished with the Brush electric light. 
Opposite these is a road leading to the village and to Orange 
Field (Mr. L. Preau), where the Ramie Fibre Company have com- 
menced operations with about 130,000 plants. This gives promise 
of being the foundation of a flourishing and lucrative industry ; 
the fibre works up splendidly, making textures of various degrees 
of strength and durability, from coarse sacking to fine damask. 

From Carapichaima, Mr. John Cumming, who is the largest 
resident proprietor in the island, and one of the most liberally 
disposed, owns a series of estates, extending a distance of fully 
seven miles. A part of his property is as yet uncultivated, and is 
to all appearance high woods, but it is tenanted by a herd of wild 
oxen. Some twelve or fourteen years ago about fifteen head of 
cattle escaped from FeliciU estate, Chaguanas, and took to the 
woods. There must be now not less than two hundred of them, 
and noble beasts some of them are. Occasionally sportsmen and 


hunters come across a drove of them, when they immediately do 
a stampede. 

Passing another of Mr. Cumming's estates, Exchange, on the 
right, and crossing the road, we enter the Couva Station. Here, 
in a cluster, are the post-office, warden's and savings bank 
offices, Roman Catholic Church and School, and police-station. 
The last is a creditable building of concrete, containing also the 
court of the S.J.P., Mr. John A. Harragin. Couva is a fast- 
growing, flourishing district, comprising four villages — Exchange, 
California, Spring and Freeport. The eastern direction of the 
road lately crossed leads to the new Presbyterian Church and 
School now in course of erection, near which is an excellent manse ; 
the sites for all these have been generously given by Mr. Gumming 
from the lands of Camden estate ; then come Spring village, 
Spring and Caracas estates (Mr. J. Henderson), and finally 
Philippine (Mr. L. Preau), on the borders of Montserrat. It is 
proposed to lay a tramway between Couva Station and the 
junction of the two roads to Gran Couva and Mayo. This is very 
much needed, as it will open up the way to what is practically an 
unknown region to a great many even of the residents of Trinidad. 

The western direction of the cross-road above alluded to leads 
past the Roman Catholic Church, a wooden building lately some- 
what improved by the addition of a tower and spire. On the 
opposite side is the Anglican Church of St. Andrew, which, thanks 
to the energy of the Rev. H. M. Skinner, rector, is a well-de- 
signed, roomy structure, with nave, aisles, chancel, porch and 
vestry, erected in 1883 at a cost of between $7,000 and $8,000. 
The interior fittings are of cedar, the stained windows being the 
workmanship of Messrs. Wailes and Strong, of Newcastle. Its 
length is nearly 100 feet, breadth 34 feet, and it will seat 300 
people. Beyond the churches is Mr. Cumming's Perseverance. 

But the train has started again ; rolling over the muddy Couva 
River by the longest iron bridge in the island, you see on the 
right the fine works of Brechin Castle (Mr. G. Turnbull), in the 
Savanetta part of Couva {Savanetta = little savanna). These were 


the first Vacuum Pan works erected in Trinidad, and the fine 
crystals made here took the first prize at the local exhibition in 
February this year (1886). On the left is Sevilla, worked in con- 
nection with Brechin Castle. The first building is the estate 
hospital ; a little further, on the rising ground, is the residence of 
Mr. John S. Wilson, planting attorney of Messrs. Turnbull, 
Stewart and Co. There is telephonic communication between 
Brechin Castle and Sevilla, and from the former to the shipping 
place. Behind Sevilla, in the direction of Montserrat, are Milton 
(Messrs. C. Tennant, Son and Co.) and Rivulet (Mr. G. Turnbull). 
Leaving California Station, on the left is the residence of Mr. 
Bernard Kenny, a genial son of Erin, who has charge of Mr. W. 

F. Burnley's Couva estates, Esperanza, Phoenix Park, and Pro- 
vidence. Phoenix Park is easily recognisable by the avenue of 
coco palms on the left. On the opposite side are Providence 
works, and about a quarter of a mile beyond, the distillery. 
Nearing Claxton's Bay village and school, you cross the road just 
before entering the station. The eastern direction of this road 
leads through the village and on to the four estates of the Hon. 

G. Fenwick — Mount Pleasant, Forest Park, Cedar Hill, and 
Diamond, bordering Montserrat. 

The westerly direction of this same road brings one almost 
immediately to the G-ulf, and to the jetty, 1,300 feet in length 
and 10 feet in breadth. This is now the property of the Mr. 
Fenwick just mentioned, and was built iu 1871 by a former pro- 
prietor, Mr. Le Boy, at a cost of nearly £2,000. It stands on 
cast-iron screw piles, with runners and decking of balata, one of 
our most durable native woods. Being connected with the 
estates by a tram-line, much of the expense of carting is thus 
avoided, the sugar being conveyed to the extreme end of the 
jetty, where the lighters lie alongside to receive it. 

Claxton's Bay railway-station is grimy-looking, like all the 
rest of them, for want of clean new paint ; but the collector, 
all honour to him, does his best to improve it by planting 
creepers, and attaching orchids to the woodwork. I have not the 


pleasure of his acquaintance, but I feel convinced he must be a 
good man. Would it be a liberty to suggest to the authorities 
that this horticulturist should be removed to each station in turn 
along the line, say for six months at a spell, so that he might 
continue the work of reformation at each, and show what Nature 
can do when she is helped a little % 

Leaving Claxton's Bay you approach Plaisance estate (Messrs. 
C. Tennant and Co.) on the left. Here is one of the most interesting 
curiosities in the island, the thermal spring, or rather springs, 
for there are at least two distinct ones. A bath-house has been 
put up, covering two spacious concrete baths. The clear spring 
water, apparently like any other till you become cognizant of its 
warmth, flows directly into the baths from the hill-side, in just 
such a stream as might be poured from a bucket. The tempera- 
ture of the water is from 100° to 105° Fahr. On the occasion of 
my visit, by the courtesy of the manager, I was allowed to take a 
bath, which I found particularly pleasant and soothing, after the 
first strangeness of the unusual warmth had subsided. It is 
curious that this water cools more rapidly than ordinary water 
would if heated artificially to the same pitch. 

Boiling over the viaduct, near which is the Government school, 
you see Pointe-a-Pierre Roman Catholic Church on the hill, com- 
manding a fine view. The building, a wooden one, is of good 
size ; over the altar are two large figures of St. Peter and St. 
Joseph. The Pointe-a-Pierre railway-station is the merest 
apology for anything of the kind that I ever saw. Near it is 
the Colonial Company's Plein Palais estate. The cutting a 
quarter of a mile through the Pointe-a-Pierre hill presented one 
of the chief engineering difficulties in the construction of the 
line, owing to the tendency to landslips. At Marbella Junction 
passengers going towards Princes' Town change to the Guaracara 
Railway, which here branches off. As our destination is San 
Fernando we keep our seats, and crossing the Guaracara we have 
a good view of the Gulf on the right and Marbella works (Mr. 
A. P. Marryat) opposite on the eminence. The pasture, with its 


trees dotted about, strikes one as resembling an English orchard. 
You will see plent)'' of pelicans flying busily about the Gulf, 
sometimes suddenly swooping down straight as an arrow for the 
unwary fish they have spotted during their flight. The white 
egrets, too, look very pretty wading through the shallow water, 
or stalking along the muddy banks. Passing an abandoned 
estate, Vista Bella (Mrs. J. Lambie), and skirting the Naparima 
hill, you come to San Fernando. 



San Fernando de Naparima, as it was originally named, is 
pleasantly situated at the foot of the Naparima hill, about thirty- 
two miles by water and forty-two by road from Port-of-Spain. 
There are three trains to and from the capital on every week 
day, with two on Sundays. There is. also frequent communi- 
cation by Messrs. Turnbull's steamers, the passage taking two 
hours more or less. 

Various ideas exist as to the derivation of the term Naparima. 
It is said that Sir Walter Raleigh, when on his trip from La Brea 
to St. Joseph, gave the hill the name of Annaparima, an Indian 
word signifying 'one mountain.' Another theory deserving of 
some consideration is, that Anap-Arima means the place lacking 
water, in contradistinction to Arima, or the land of abundant 
water. Humboldt, however, who is no mean authority, gives 
* large bay ' as the true meaning. 

The town of San Fernando was founded in 1792, a few years 
before the British occupation, by Governor Chacon. It soon had 
its market in a square called ' Plaza de San Carlos,' its cemetery, 
church, and presbytery, and a kind of hostelry, or rest-house 
for travellers and visitors, called ' Casa Real.' The principal 
thoroughfares were St. Vincent, Chacon, Penitence, and Quenca 




Streets. In 1818 the old town was completely destroyed by a 
large fire, but it had been nearly restored by 1830, and building 
had extended beyond its former limits, especially in the direction 
of what was then Mm Chagrin estate. 


A Town Council, with President, appears to have been formed 
in 1846, and in 1853, during the governorship of Lord Harris, 
being fully invested with municipal rights and privileges, the 
town was converted into a borough, and Dr. Robert Johnstone, the 
last of the Presidents, became also the first of the Mayors. The 


Borough Council of San Fernando has always zealously watched 
over, and, if need be, protected the interests of the town, and 
under the several times renewed mayoralty of Mr. Guppy, an old 
esteemed colonist and barrister-at-law, this public-spirited policy 
has in no way diminished. 

High Street, the chief business thoroughfare, contains a 
number of well-arranged, amply-stocked stores. The principal 
public offices are here ; those of the sub-receiver (Mr. L. G. Hay), 
warden (Mr. J. L. O'Connor), and post-master (Mr. J. C. 
Lewis). Many of these are of new and modern appearance, for 
in 1883 the town was unfortunately, or fortunately (who knows?), 
visited by a ravaging fire, which made a clean sweep of some of 
the mercantile houses. The San Fernandians, however, were not 
to be daunted by such a commonplace occurrence, and ere long 
the present structures arose Phcenix-like out of the ashes. It 
was this fire which led to the formation of the town Volunteer 
Fire Brigade, an organization now in a thoroughly efficient state, 
having an engine and hose, with the necessary fittings and 
appliances, to enable it at all times to turn out for immediate 
action. Since its establishment, the brigade has given several 
proofs of its usefulness ; it musters twenty-nine working and nine 
honorary members, and is under the command of Mr. W. A. 
Kernahan, the captain. To mark their appreciation of its 
services, the leading firms and insurance agencies subscribed to 
give the members a room for meetings, which has been built over 
the engine-house, the whole presenting a smart, natty, spick-and- 
span appearance. 

Harris Promenade is the centre of a number of public insti- 
tutions. Within a stone's-throw are the hospital, market, the 
Presbyterian, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Wesleyan and Baptist 
churches, police barracks, fire brigade station, Town Hall and 
convent ; a veritable multum in parvo. 

St. Paul's Anglican Church (Eev. H. N. Huggins, rector) is a 
wooden structure built to replace a smaller one of stone, which 
after thirty years' precarious tenure of treacherous foundation, had 



to be finally abandoned in 1873. The present church, though at 
the time unfinished, was opened for divine service in 1875. It 
consists of nave with two aisles, and chancel, the total length 
being 114 feet, and width 28 feet. Both aisles and clerestory are 
lighted by double lancet windows. The interior presents a rather 
felicitous adaptation of material, the prevailing features being its 
roof, the many columns and light arches, and general ariness. The 
two stained windows, by Wailes, of ISewcastle, are of remarkable 
size for single lights, the subjects being ' The Good Shepherd,' and 
' St. Paul.' The re-building of this church was the first effort of 
the kind after the passing of the Act of Disestablishment. On 
the sudden and unforeseen withdrawal of Government aid, St. 
Paul's had to depend entirely upon the voluntary subscriptions of 
the parishioners. So far $10,000 have been expended, and 
though the church has just been handsomely painted, it is still 
incomplete, sadly lacking a tower, subscriptions for which are 
being collected by Mr. J. C. Lewis, churchwarden. 

The Roman Catholic Church* is a large cruciform-shaped build- 
ing, capable, like the Anglican one, of seating 800 people. The 
life-size figure of the Crucifixion near the entrance at once strikes 
the eye. The principal altar is a massive one of marble with 
granite steps, the front being adorned by a gilt plate representing 
the typical Lamb, surrounded by aureole rays. The double 
marble slab to the left is in memory (1) of the late Father 
Christophe, ' Founder of the Catholic Church in San Fernando,' 
and Hon. Vicar-General of the diocese, and (2) in memory of 
Father Griffin, ' for twenty-six years curate of the parish.' On 
each side of the altar is a picture, one of our Saviour, the other 
of the Virgin Mother. Of the two side-chapels, that to the left 
is dedicated to the Virgin Mary ; it contains a handsome marble 
altar, above which are the figures of the Holy Mother and Son, 
with two saints, surmounted by the inscription ' Ecce tua Mater.' 
There are various other figures, notably that of the Virgin Mother 

* This church has lately sustained a serious loss in the death of 
Father Violette, whose ministration will he greatly missed. 


supporting the dead body of her Son. The organ in the gallery, 
with its two manuals and sixteen stops, is really a very fair one, 
but out of repair. 

The Presbyterian and Baptist Churches are good buildings, 
each with a residence near by for the pastor. The Wesleyan 
Chapel is a large and comparatively new erection, with handsome 
Gothic coloured glass windows, and a tower. 

The police barracks is a massive stone edifice, with some 
architectural pretensions, being much after the style of the one 
in Port-of-Spain. It cost £35,000, having been commenced in 
1869, and finished in 1877. Here are stationed Mr. Inspector 
Fitzsimons, one Sergeant-Major, one Superintending Sergeant, 
and fifty-four of subordinate rank. Here, also, the Magistrate, 
Mr. Arthur Child, holds his court daily, and less frequently the 
Petty Debt, Criminal and Summary Jurisdiction Courts are held, 
the last-named on the first Thursday in each month excepting 
September. The Criminal Sessions commence on the first Thurs- 
day in February, April, June, October, and December ; the Petty 
Civil Court sits every Friday. 

^The San Fernando Hospital, though not on the Harris 
Promenade, is only separated from it by an artificial ravine, 
cut for the purpose of extending the Cipero railway to the 
San Fernando wharf. It is a large, substantial, well-ordered 
structure, erected at a cost of £11,093 in 1859, by Mr. Samuel, 
the architect of the Port-of-Spain hospital. It is 224 feet long, 
and 56 feet broad, with spacious galleries on each side, command- 
ing a splendid view of the Gulf and hill-side, and it is so situated 
as to catch the cool breeze from whichever direction it may blow. 
It is under the charge of a resident surgeon, Dr. E. J. Read, who 
is assisted by a staff of twenty-three nurses and attendants. In 
1885 there were 2,838 patients admitted, 2,623 were discharged, 
and 247 died. It seems a pity that wards are not attached to this 
and the Port-of-Spain hospital, where persons of respectability could 
be treated on payment of a higher fee. Three enormous tanks, 
each of a capacity of 16,000 gallons, are kept for storing water. 


A propos of water, on occasions the supply of this necessary of 
life has, in San Fernando, run very short; in 1864, so much as 
3s. 9d. was paid for a puncheon of water. A few years ago, after 
long-drawn-out correspondence hetween the Government and 
Borough Council, a reservoir costing £15,755 was constructed at 
La Coulie. The water derived from this source was not at first 
at all favourably received, on account of its being strongly im- 
pregnated with bitumen and sulphur, which rendered it un- 
pleasant for drinking and unsuitable for cooking purposes. It is 
generally admitted now that it has lost much of its objectionable 
flavour, though it is still not used for drinking, iron tanks having 
been almost universally adopted for the storage of rain-water 
collected from the house-tops. The available capacity of these 
tanks has been estimated at nearly 100,000 gallons. At La Coulie 
is the largest tennis-ground in San Fernando. It is of gravel, not 
turfed like those of Port-of-Spain. Occasional tournaments take 
place between the champions of Naparima and those of the 
capital, but although the San Fernandians are vigorous and 
successful in. most of their undertakings, they must as yet yield 
the palm for tennis to the northern city. There has for man)' 
years existed a healthy spirit of emulation between the two 
towns, and whether the contest has been one of cricket, boat- 
racing, fire brigade drill, or what not, the honours have, on the 
whole, been fairly divided. From La Coulee to the top of the hill 
is a tough walk, but if your wind and legs are sound, you ought 
to go in for it, as the exquisite view at the summit is quite worth 
the exertion. You may almost rely upon the welcome of the 
courteous owner of Piedmont Cottage, Mr. Guppy, the Mayor, 
through whose grounds is the most agreeable path of ascent. 
The hill is not more than 600 feet high, hut, standing alone as it 
does, it towers high above the rest of Naparima, and is a 
conspicuous landmark for miles round. 

Public Schools were first opened in San Fernando in 1857. 
When the Borough Schools of Port-of-Spain were taken over by 
the Government, San Fernando determined to continue carrying 


on its own. But it was for some time a veritable white elephant, 
and at length the city fathers banded it over to the Government, 
relieving themselves of further responsibility in the matter by the 
annual payment of £500 into the treasury of the colony. The 
large building erected on the hill to serve as the Borough School 
is therefore now known as the Central School. Here, of course, 
the system of tuition is upon a secular basis, but there are other 
primary schools in the town worked by the Roman Catholics, 
Anglicans and Presbyterians, where denominational teaching is 
the practice. 

A wharf, 300 feet in length, was constructed in 1842 by the 
Borough Council, but it has since been transferred to the Govern- 
ment, by whom it has been considerably extended. The 
principal shipping agencies are of course in the neighbourhood 
of the Gulf, as is also the Naparima terminus of the railway. 

There is a pretty little wooden place of worship in Coffee 
Street, quite near the Oriental Hall, connected with the Indian 
Mission of the Canadian Presbyterian Church. It is known as 
the Susumachar Church, and is under the charge of the Rev. 
K. J. Grant, a very worthy and zealous missionary who has de- 
voted many years to the Coolies of Naparima with singular 
success. The handsome iron gate and columns at the entrance 
were the gift of one of his Indian protegis, who, having been 
started in life by him, took this means of showing his gratitude 
to one to whom he owed so much. I have often read and heard 
what I used to consider exaggerated statements of the result of 
evangelizing work amongst the heathen, but I must confess that 
after having seen for myself the system as worked in Naparima, 
my eyes are opened. I do not hesitate to say that the Oriental, 
as he comes to Trinidad, ground down to the lowest depths of 
degradation by the slavish and tyrannical prejudices of caste, and 
the same man as he appears when guided by the Christianizing 
and humanizing influences such as the Rev. Mr. Grant and his 
hard-working colleagues bring to bear upon him, are as distinct 
and different as they can possibly be. 


The Oriental Hall lias been referred to above. This curious 
structure, modelled, as its name indicates, upon the Eastern style, 
was built by an Indian doctor named Kelaart. It is now in 
rather tumble-down condition, the lower part being let off in 
separate rooms to a colony of Chinese much devoted to opium and 
the whe-whe, while the large upper hall is occasionally utilized for 

The Poor House, or Alms House, stands on the hill to the west 
of the tram line. It is a municipal institution, sheltering on an 
average about twelve persons, who must be in a destitute condi- 
tion and have been resident in the town at least twelve months. 
There are several disused burial-grounds — one on the hill between 
Chacon and St. Vincent Streets, containing the remains of the 
celebrated Dr. John Baptiste Philip, author of ' The Free Mulatto,' 
who died in 1829; and another to the westward of the hospital, 
where is a monument in memory of Mr. J. W. Begg, a former 
estate proprietor and prominent citizen. 

The present cemetery, a part of the old Paradise estate, is 
pleasantly situated at the back of Harris Promenade. Some of 
the monuments and stones are in exceedingly good taste, many of 
them being of Aberdeen granite. One of the most curious is 
perhaps that in memory of Bhundoo and Koonjal, erected by their 
' esteemed friend, William Eamdeen.' These were father and son 
(Coolies), the latter of whom left the sum of §1,200 to pay for the 
monument. Graceful palms have been planted along the walks. 
The Mortuary Chapel, built by the late Abbe Christophe, who was 
the founder of the Roman Catholic Church of the parish, has a fine 
mural tablet to the memory of Mr. Joseph Lambie, and there are 
also statues of Ste. Mary Magdalene and St. Jerome. Outside, to the 
east of the chapel, is a life-size figure of our Saviour on the Cross. 

In connection with the Church of England a friendly society has 
been formed, besides several guilds : 

Associated with the Guilds Union of England. 

1. The Guild of Church Helpers. 

2. „ ; , St. Agnes (young girls). 


3. The Guild of St. Paul (young men). 

4. ,, „ the Children of the Good Shepherd. 

The third of these is also affiliated with the St. Agnes Guild of 
Plymouth ; all are under the direction of the Eev. H. K Huggins, 
Rector of St. Paul's. 

The population of San Fernando, including the suburbs of the 
Coffee and Bushy Park, must be at least 8,000. 


PRINCES' town and the mud volcanoes. 

As the Mud Volcanoes lie about five or six miles to the south-east 
of Princes' Town, the first business is to get to the latter place. 
This can be done easily, either by the Cipero tramway, which con- 
veniently connects High Street with the heart of Princes' Town, 
or by the Government railway, changing to the Guaracara line at 
Marbella Junction. A brief sketch of the San Fernando line has 
been given in Chapter XIV., so, as it is unnecessary to repeat this, 
we will take up the route from the Marbella Junction. The works 
of Marbella estate (Mr. A. P. Marryat) are picturesquely situated 
amongst the trees. The railway crosses the San Fernando main 
road, and the first station, Union, is on Mr. Marryat's estate of the 
same name. Here is situated the range of the San Fernando Rifle 
Association, at present available for 200, 500, and 600 yards' 
shooting, but which could easily be adapted for ranges up to 900 
yards. It is in its infancy as a rifle association, but having had 
an excellent start with forty active members, it gives promise of 
a healthy career. Mr. R. Guppy, the Mayor of San Fernando, is 
the president ; Mr. L. G. Hay, vice-president ; and Mr. A. Wake- 
field, secretary. 

Beyond Union, on the left, we pass Harmony Hall (Colonial 
Company) ; here is a windmill for pumping the water. Still 
further, on the right, are Reform works (Mr. J. A. Macquaide) ; 


crossing the road, which then runs for some distance almost parallel 
with the rail, we have in order : 

Ben Lomond . . . Messrs. Tennant and Co. 

Sla. Margarita . . Mr. Frank Brash. 

Williamsville and Brothers Colonial Company. 

Garth .... Abandoned, now a cattle farm. 

Malgrd Toute . . . Messrs. Tennant and Co. 

From Williamsville a road leads to Montserrat. All these 
estates, with the exception of Garth, are in good working condi- 
tion. Malgrd Toute has only recently begun to make crystal sugar, 
since the erection of a vacuum pan, but it promises very well. 
The Colonial Company are large proprietors in this part of iSTapa- 
rima, grinding not onty their own canes, but also those of several 
other estates. After Williamsville the next and last station is 
Princes' Town. 

A far pleasanter way, however, of seeing the Naparima country 
is to ride or drive from San Fernando to Princes' Town, going by 
the north road and returning by the south. As many will prefer 
this plan, I will try to give an idea of the estates, etc., passed 
en route. 

If you have no animal, you will be able to engage a cab at 
San Fernando. Skirting the base of the Naparima Hill, which 
stands erect like a sentinel guarding the Gulf, you soon come to 
Cocoye Village. This was in former times the Ne Plus Ultra 
estate (Mr. Robert Wilson), but having been rented in small lots, 
it is fast becoming a thickly-populated district. A few years 
ago hardly a house was to be seen along this road ; now there is an 
almost continuous line of huts, built upon the different allotments. 

Shortly after Cocoye a road branches off to the right in the 
direction of the Usine St. Madeleine. A little further on we have 
Tarouba Estate (Colonial Company), and then Palmyra, a large 
property of 800 acres, a part of which is now kept by Mr. Date 
for the breeding and raising of stock, while the remainder is 
rented out either to free Coolies, or to small farmers, who sell 


their canes to the Usine. On Palmyra is a rifle range 600 yards 
in length, the head-quarters of the Naparima Rifle Association. 
Some of the members are excellent marksmen, and occasionally 
show their Port-of-Spain brethren a thing or two when they turn 
up for the annual competitions. After Palmyra is another 
abandoned estate, Trois Amis, a road to the left leading to Beform. 
Passing through Mt. Stewart Village, we come to Friendship, 
Messrs. Tennant's estate, while another road to the left leads to 
Ben Lomond, and finally, Malgri Toute. 

Beyond this is Princes' Town, which I consider by odds the 
prettiest little village — I beg its pardon — town in Trinidad. It 
was originally known as the Mission, but from the time of the 
visit of the two sons of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales in January, 
1SS0, the name, in compliment to them, has been changed to that 
it now bears. The first noticeable feature of the place is its 
neatly trimmed hedges of croton and cactus-like euphorbia?. 
Every house has its tidy shrub fence, while the churchyard is a 
perfect model, which might well be followed elsewhere. In it 
are two thriving young pouis (Tecoma serratifolia), planted in 
1880 by the princes, and enclosed in 1887 within iron railings, 
in commemoration of Her Majesty's Jubilee, the cost being 
defrayed by subscriptions raised in the neighbourhood. 

The peasantry of the quarter were highly delighted at having 
real live princes in their midst, and they displayed their loyalty 
with a free and easy exuberance that was most refreshing. A 
Savana Grande black woman elbowed her way to Prince George, 
had a good look at him, and then retired with much complacence, 
chuckling, 'Eh ! eh ! me see me missus' grandson !' A man, too, 
who rejoiced in the cognomen of King William, accosted the 
princes with the words, 'When you go back, jest tell de Queen 
howdy fo' she !' affording the royal middies much amusement. 
Her most gracious Majesty, when she received the kind message, 
as she doubtless did, must have felt flattered by the thoughtful 
attention of her West Indian subject with the high-sounding name. 

The Parish Church of St. Stephen is a neat cedar building 


capable of seating about 350 people. The stained east window- 
has three lights, the centre representing St. Stephen with his 
book, the right, his address before the high priest, and the left, 
the stoning of the martyr. The bell, which is of good size and tone, 
bears date 1840. The house of the rector, the Rev. 0. Darling, 
is near by on the glebe. The Canadian Coolie Mission Church of 
St. Andrew (Presbyterian) is a pretty structure designed by a 
brother of the rector of St. Stephen's, when home on sick leave 
from India two years ago. 

Princes' Town is ahead of its older rival, Arima, in many 
respects. It boasts of its 'Good Samaritan' Friendly Society, 
established in 1883, and having now nearly 100 members; the 
Blue Ribbon movement, with a membership of over 200, has 
taken a firm footing, holding its monthly social gatherings ; and 
lastly, a flourishing Good Templar Lodge has been started with 
great promise. 

To get to the Mud Volcano, you go through Princes' Town, 
past the police-station, which is also the Court-house, and the 
terminus of the Cipero tramway. I cannot say much for the 
police-station, for it is gradually falling to pieces, the Courts 
being held by Mr. H. P. Hobson, S.J.P., in a room above the 
postoffice. Some of the shops are well stocked, particularly 
that of Mr. Miller, which has some pretensions. A properly- 
managed hotel on a small scale ought to do fairly well here. 

Leaving the town you have Craignish estate (Mr. G. Liddelow) 
on the left, and Broomage (Messrs. Tennant) on the opposite side. 
The gentle undulations all around afford an ever varying land- 
scape, like the changing scenes of a panorama. Passing Fairfield 
(Mr. Arbuckle), Neio Grant (Messrs. Tennant), and taking the 
turning through Hindosian estate (Mr. C. D. McClean), a solitary 
palmiste towering above the high woods in front shows you 
the neighbourhood of the Mud Volcano, but it is almost hopeless 
to find it without a guide. 

This volcano has always been an object of interest to strangers, 
though many have been disappointed at its tame appearance. 


AVhen the writer saw it in November, 1S86, it consisted of a flat, 
bare mud circle of about a hundred yards in diameter, dotted 
here and there with conical mounds of from one to three feet in 
height, the summits of these forming tiny craters from which 
oozed bubbles of muddy water. 

On February 3rd, in the following year, towards five o'clock 
in the morning, those residents on Hindustan not already stirring 
were rudely roused from their slumbers by a terrible roaring and 
rumbling, which seemed to issue from the adjacent woods. This 
continued for about thirty seconds, then suddenly ceased, and on 
the proprietor of the estate hastening to the mud volcano he 
found that an eruption had just taken place. 

The following changes are noticeable since the convulsion just 
referred to : 

1. The surface has been raised four or five feet above its 

former height. 

2. The area is increased fully half as much again. Several dry 

trunks and branches of trees, and a few even of the grow- 
ing ones which had originally skirted the mud, are now 
partially embedded. 

3. There appear to have been a series of explosions following 

each other in rapid succession, the weight of the second 
load of mud vomited forth causing the first to bulge out, 
the third having a similar effect on the second, and so on, 
giving the whole a terraced or stratified appearance. 

Fortunately there was no loss of life attending the occurrence, 
and the damage to property was of the most trifling kind, a few 
plants only in an adjoining provision-ground being injured. The 
path approaching the scene was rent in several places, the fissures 
being from four to six inches wide at the top. A gentleman who 
visited the place soon after the eruption describes the crust of the 
volcano as resembling an over-boiled plum-pudding in consistencj', 
while another (a ' Friend Macdonald,' of course) alleges that it 
reminded him of ' parritch.' 


Without a doubt you will agree with Kingsley, that it is a 
' doleful, uncanny, half-made spot ;' the common people, who call 
it 'The Devil's Woodyard,' do not like the place at all— 'too 
much jumbies,' say they, telling fabulous stories of stupendous 
explosions that they allege to have seen and heard, which stories, 
however, must be taken with the usual grain of salt imperative in 
such cases. The water is slightly brackish in flavour, and at 
times emits a smell suggestive of asphalt. Dr. Davy, in his 
' West Indies,' states that on analysis he found in it common 
salt, iodine, with traces of carbonate of lime. There are other 
' Salses ' in the island, a very large one at Cedros, for instance, 
another in Montserrat, and I have seen a small one on a cacao 
estate in Caroni. It may be that these serve as a safety-valve, 
and save us from disasters we wot not of at present. 

Well, you have seen the Mud Volcanoes, and the next business 
is to get home again. We will return from Princes' Town by the 
South Road, passing first through Manahambre Village, with its 
neat little Wesleyan chapel, then through Cedar Hill estate 
(Colonial Company), which extends about two miles along the 
road, over the Woodford Dale bridge. Under this runs the line by 
which the canes are conveyed to the Central Usine at St. Made- 
leine ; the gradient is one of the steepest known, being one in 

Almost immediately after leaving Manahambre you see the 
Cedar Hdl savanna, the beauty of which is enhanced by the cactus 
fence and fine Angelin trees dotted here and there. Next you 
catch a glimpse of the manager's residence, standing in the midst 
of a good tropical garden, famous for crotons aud orchids, also 
surrounded by a cactus fence. Continuing to the .left is the 
Estate Hospital on the hill, a landmark for miles ; then the mule- 
pen, with accommodation for 200 animals. Next you pass Jordan 
Hill, with Brontd and Cupar Grange in its rear, all belonging to 
Mr. M. Lennon ; behind these nothing is visible except high 

Farther on you have a choice of two roads, the left leading to 


St. John's Village, and the other passing by St. Madeleine. We 
will first deal with the latter. Here two very large ponds soon 
come within view, while opposite is the residence of Mr. Abel, 
who is in charge of the Usine and estates of the Colonial Company. 
Below, in the hollow, are the magnificent works of The Usink, as 
St. Madeleine is commonly called, turning out sometimes 460 
tons of sugar per week, not to mention rum. Here is quite a 
little network of lines, used to bring in canes from all the estates 
round about during crop season. Here, too, is a Telephone 
Exchange communicating with every estate, with the shipping- 
place at Cipero Embarcadere, and with Les Efforts House. 

Leaving the Usine, and passing the house of the manager of 
Petit Morne, we come to the famous lees ponds, which were a few 
years ago considered by the San Fernando folk a terrible nuisance 
and a source of malarial fever. Whether or no this was the case 
is of small consequence now, for the Colonial Company wisely use 
the dregs, the bone of contention, as bones should be used, 
namely, as a fertilizer. You now cross the Cipero River in its 
incipient stage, and reach the village of St. Madeleine, with its 
police-station and rather steep descent. St. Clement's Church is 
nicely situated amongst the trees, and quite worth a peep inside, 
as it has a number of stained windows in the chancel. The three 
lights of the east window are respectively, ' Born of the Virgin 
Mary,' ' Crucified for us,' and ' The third clay He rose again.' On 
the north side are SS. Andrew and Peter, then the four Evangelists 
and St. Clement ; on the opposite side in pairs are SS. James 
(Major) and Philip, SS. Bartholomew and Thomas, SS. James 
and Simon, SS.. Jude and Matthew, SS. Paul and Barnabas. The 
tombs of Rev. Nelson and Rev. Hutchinson, former rectors, 
are near the north door. Leaving the church you get into the 
San Eernando North Road again, near Cocoye. 

If, however, in place of taking the Usine route, we had gone to 
the left through St. John's Village, famous for lepers, we should 
have passed first Friendship (Mrs. Rowbottom), then Golconda- 
(Colonial Company), a fine estate producing first-rate canes, with 


a good residence. Next comes a church, among the coconut 
palms, about which I am in a state of fog as to what name to give 
it. I believe its licensed name to be St. Barnabas' Chapel, though 
it is ecclesiastically known as St. Luke's, and commonly called 
Belmont Church. The Colonial Company have lately given a 
small piece of Golconda as a burial-ground. 

Further on is Retrench (Mr. Robert Wilson) ; then crossing the 
Cipero by the iron bridge, one of the last acts in Trinidad of Sir 
A. Gordon, you come to Victoria Village. Here is a Government 
school, the garden and grounds of which are kept by the school- 
master, Mr. Arkless, in excellent order; so far as I can see, they 
are the principal feature of the village. 

Passing through Union Hall estate (Colonial Company), you 
come to four cross-roads, usually known as 'The Cross,' where the 
late Mr. W. H. Burnley formerly had an iron-foundry. A little 
below are the shipping wharf, called the Cipero Embarcadere, and 
the tram-line from Princes' Town, already spoken of, which has 
been connected to San Fernando. 

From ' The Cross,' looking towards the town, you get a sight of 
Les Efforts House. This is one of the spots where the collision 
between the Coolies and the authorities took place in 1884. Keep- 
ing straight on a few minutes more would bring you into the 
town, but if you had taken the turning to the south-east, the 
Oropouche Road, you would have passed 

Union Hall . . . Colonial Company. 

Palmiste and Philippine . Mr. J. Lamont. 

Esperance .... Mr. C. M. Vessiny. 

Wellington and Picton . . Mr. J. Cumming. 

The Usine at Palmiste was erected about two years ago, it being 
the first in Trinidad where massecuite sugar was cured while in a 
heated state. Beyond Mr. Cumming's estates are the high woods 
of Oropouche, teeming with game and rich with tropical vegeta- 
tion. Shortly before reaching Philippine an offshoot of the 

■*'a .-.. .--*^. V^U'iJ-- :'_■■■/.■ *.f '■»£ .-- ■';*'.. 



road approaches the south quarter, where are some more good 
estates : 

Canaan .... Mr. J. Lamont. 

La Plaisance . . . Messrs. G. Turnbull and Co. 

Bien Venue, La Fortunie, and 

Belle Vue . . . Messrs. Tennant. 

Mon Dteir .... Mr. Sanderson. 



Of all the various ways of getting to Montserrat, I think the best 
means for a stranger to see this lovely part of the island to 
advantage will he for him to start from Couva and return via 
"William sville. 

Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday are perhaps the most con- 
venient days ; the goods-train will convey your horse or mule to 
Couva (cost, five shillings), where Mr. J. H. Patty, of the Couva 
Emporium, will, for a small charge, give it stable-room until you 
require it. Some people go in for riding the whole distance from 
Port-of-Spain to Montserrat, but this practically converts what 
would be a pleasure into a toil, and is altogether unnecessary. If 
you are without an animal, or are no equestrian, there is yet 
another alternative : you may hire a cab to take you as far as 
Tortuga Hill ; but I must confess I have not unbounded confidence 
in the hackney carriages of Couva, and would therefore advise you 
to adopt the first plan. 

We will assume, therefore, that Couva is reached, and that you 
have just turned your back on the railway, as also on the newly- 
built, neat, and commodious police-station adjoining. 

Going along the Eastern Road, through Exchange Village, you 
soon come to Camden estate (Mr. J. Cumming), beyond which 
is Balmain, devoted by Messrs. Turnbull Stewart to mixed 



cultivation; then Spring Village, with its Government school, and 
still farther Spring and Caraccas estates (Mr. John Henderson). 

At the foot of the Montserrat Hills lies an excellent cacao 
estate, Philippine, belonging to Mr. L. Preau. This, with several 
of the adjacent properties in this locality, was formerly owned by 
the old Rostant family in the palmy days of sugar. Mrs. Preau 
has a charming little garden, and is justly proud of her crotons, 
begonias, and ferns. 

Rather more than six miles' distance from the railway-station 
is a junction road ; one arm of this leads eastwards to Gran 
Couva, the other being the Mayo main road branching south- 
ward towards Williamsville. 

Following up the latter road beyond Philippine are San Pedro 
estate (we are now in the land of cacao), the property of the late 
Mr. St. L. d'Abadie, who did much towards opening up the 
quarter, and La Montserrat (Mr. Eligon). Having surmounted the 
rather steep ascent, before us is the Roman Catholic church of 
Notre Dame de Montserrat, a commodious cedar building, con- 
taining what is rather a novelty, a black image of the Virgin- 
Mother. This was given by a Mr. Joaquin Colomer, who 
imported it expressly from Spain. In connection with this it 
must be remembered that at Montserrat, in Spain, the Church of 
Nuestra Sefiora de Montserrat contains a similar image, which is 
one of the most celebrated in the country, being visited annually 
by more than 80,000 pilgrims. The ' Encyclopaedia Britannica ' 
describes it as being ' regularly handsome, but the colour of a 
negro woman, and possessing magnificent robes and jewels.' 

The view from the top of the Tortuga hill is a superb one, 
embracing in one grand sweep Caroni, Couva, the town and peak 
of San Fernando, the sugar estates round about the Mission, the 
gulf with its shipping, the Bocas and the lofty El Tucutche. It 
is o"f this magnificent landscape that Kingsley in 'At Last ' says : 
' The panorama is at once the most vast and the most lovely I 
have ever seen.' It is indeed hardly possible to conceive a sight 
more glorious than the ridge of Montserrat hills when, during the 


month of February or thereabouts, the slopes are crowned with 
the beautiful mass of scarlet blossoms of the hois immortel. 
Erythrina umbrosa is the botanical name of this fine umbrageous 
tree, but la madre de cacao, or ' mother of cacao,' the Spanish 
conuqueros love to call it, from the fact that its roots supply- 
moisture during the height of the dry season to the tender young 
cacao plants, which stand greatly in need of such maternal care 
and nourishment. Moreover, its shady branches afford a splendid 
shelter to the unmatured cacao, while the latter is still unable to 
bear the scorching rays of old Sol. The bois immortel is by no 
means universally distributed in the West Indies ; for instance, in 
Grenada it is scarcely known, notwithstanding that being such a 
cacao-producing colony. There the planters simply utilize the 
banana and cassava for shade purposes, throwing the cacao on its 
own resources at a much earlier age than we do in Trinidad. 

Montserrat soil is very rich and fertile, appearing specially 
adapted to the cultivation of cacao, and here are found some of 
the largest and best plantations in the island. The yield per tree 
iu this district is said to exceed that of any other part. 

Quite near the Roman Catholic church already mentioned is 
the village of Tortuga, with the office of the Warden, police- 
station, and court-house, the latter having done duty formerly as 
the rest-house for travellers. You may have observed, in passing, 
a sign-post pointing out a track as being the ' Indian Trail.' There 
are many of these in the inland districts, this particular one 
leading past Mr. L. O'Connor's La Victoria, at the back of 
Caraccas, then striking the two sugar estates of Milton (Messrs. 
Tennant) and Rivulet (Messrs. Turnbull Stewart). 

The words 'Indian Trail ' carry us back forcibly to the days of 
our youth, when we revelled in the marvellous exploits and hair- 
breadth escapes of the heroes of our old friends Fenimore 
Cooper and Captain Mayne Reid. Only two or three centuries 
ago, the daring traveller who ventured into these almost unknown 
regions could scarcely hope to return. A slight rustling in the 
bush, followed immediately by a mortal wound from the deadly 


manchineel-tipped arrow of the concealed savage, and — the end 
of the chapter ! Only yesterday I met with one of the few 
Indians that have survived the inroads of conquest and civili- 
zation. He was an inoffensive-looking, hard-working, yellow- 
skinned man, speaking English a little, but patois fluently, and 
who seemed in behaviour much less like a savage than many an 
Englishman that I have seen. He told me, however, that one of 
his people was living in puris naturalibus in the heart of the 
Caparo woods, who could not by any means be induced to adopt 
a more civilized mode of life. 

But we have nothing to do with the 'Indian Trail' on this 
occasion, so we will proceed towards Mayo. The Cedar Hill road 
to the right leads to the estates of the Hon. G. Fenwick, and to 
the Anglican Church of St. Alban the Martj'r. 

It seems a little odd in these days of enlightenment to hear of 
British subjects being summoned to Divine worship on Sunday by 
the blowing of the horn. Yet, so recently as 1879,less than ten years 
ago, the congregation of St. Alban's were accustomed to assemble 
on the Sabbath, or whenever service was held, at this rustic sound. 
Nowadays the tintinnabulations of the more aristocratic bell have 
ousted the old familiar, but certainly somewhat primitive call. 

Passing Mr. Peschier's El Dorado, and the bridle-path to 
Maraval (Mr. Jas. Devenish), the village of Mayo, with its 
Government quarry, soon presents itself. It was nicely laid out 
by Sir Arthur Gordon, but it appears to have fallen short of that 
excellent Governor's expectations. After Mr. Ache's San Josi, a 
road to the left leads to Ste. Lucie (Mr. F. E. Scott), where the 
Warden, Mr. Thornton H. Warner, resides. The soil about here 
being poor in quality and of a light colour, the district is known 
as White Lands. It is of not much use for cultivation, but 
affords fair pasturage. 

The Mayo main road now runs into the Guaracara Vega road, 
bringing you pretty near to Williamsville Station. An offshoot 
called L'Atagual Eoad leads to the new lands being opened up in 
Cacao, and to the Guanapura road. 



The bridle-path turning off' to the left near Mr. Peschier's 
house, goes through Maraval, and though the track is trying to 
one's stamina, being rather steep and toilsome in several places, 
the magnificent view from Mr. Devenish's house on the summit is 
an ample reward for the trouble taken. It ranks as one of the 
finest in the whole island, even surpassing the Tortuga one. Near 
by are the Hon. George Fitt's estate, El Salvador, and El Coronal, 
the property of the late Mr. D. Bryce. 

The village of Gran Couva is only about a couple of miles from 
the junction at Philippine. It is a growing place, but I am sorry 
to add that it has rather' an unenviable notoriety for rowdyism. 
Among the estates in the neighbourhood are : 

El Reposo 
San Pablo 
San Juan 
La Gloria 

Mr. A. de Verteuil. 

Mr. Rolingson. 

Mrs. J. E. Cipriani. 

Mr. F. Agostini. 

Messrs. de Putron and Eooth. 

The red burnt-clay road near Gran Couva is one of the firmest 
and soundest in the quarter, and it strikes me this system of road- 
constructing might be adopted with advantage in other parts of 
the island. 

The 'parasol' ant, always a scourge whenever and wherever it 
appears, is at times exceedingly troublesome here, and the 
planters have to keep a strict guard in order to repel promptly 
the invasions of the energetic little foe. It has been proposed to 
construct a tramway from the railway-station to the San Pablo 
estate at Gran Couva. This would be a step in the right direc- 
tion, as it would doubtless benefit the whole district. What 
Montserrat wants more than anything else is — the universal cry 
of all young colonies — more roads. This is a necessity felt by 
every country in its infancy and early stages, and though Trini- 
dad may be said to have made as much progress in this line as 
could be reasonably expected of her, there is yet more to be 
done. The Warden of Montserrat, in his last official report, 

1 68 


published in the Royal Gazette, states that provisions are often 
absolutely thrown away for want of roads to convey the pro- 
visions to the populated parts. In one case he was actually 
offered corn at the ridiculous price of Is. 6d. per barrel if he 
would send for it. 

All about Montserrat- are a number of small holdings (conucos) 
giving from 10 to 100 bags a year, and cultivated chiefly by 
Spaniards. In fact, as a rule, the large estates of the quarter, 
with the exception of Philippine, have not been obtained by 
grants of Crown land, but by the amalgamation of a number of 
small ones. Spanish is the prevailing language, it being even 
more popular here than patois. During the Spanish occupation a 
Jesuit mission among the Indians existed at Mayo, but it was 
broken up in 1824, and the aborigines became dispersed. 

Morichal and Piparo are Coolie settlements — that is to say, 
they are chiefly inhabited by free Coolies who have received ten- 
acre lots of land in lieu of returning to India. The latter has a 
mud volcano — ' The Devil's Pot ' the common people call it. 
Morichal has splendid water, which cannot be said of the whole 
of Montserrat. 

Most of the localities in this ward were named from some pro- 
minent natural feature they possessed ; thus : 

Pouisal . 
Frasal . 

Valley of the Grisgris. 
Valley of the Poms. 
Cool or Fresh Vale. 
Silk-cotton-tree (Ceiba) Vale. 
Carat Palm Vale. 
Moriche Palm Vale. 

Cacao (Theobroma cacao) was probably first cultivated in Mexico, 
and the word 'chocolate' is undoubtedly of Mexican origin, being 
derived from ' choco,' sound, and ' latl,' water. The natives were 
in the habit of preparing the beverage by causing the cake of 


cacao to froth, or make a wild sort of hissing sound in boiling 
water. The botanical name of the plant is scarcely less interest- 
ng, ' Theobroma' meaning food of the gods. 

In Trinidad, cacao-trees are worth from $1 to $2 each, accord- 
ing to their age. The usual system employed in starting an estate 
and getting it into working trim is as follows : 

Assuming that the property purchased is hitherto uncultivated 
Crown lands, it is handed over temporarily to contractors, who 
first clear it of ' bush,' retaining as their perquisite all the wood 
thus cut down, which they use for building purposes or convert 
into charcoal, according to its quality. The beans are planted in 
rows twelve or fifteen feet apart, and simultaneously with this 
the contractor puts in provision plants, such as sweet potatoes, 
figs, etc., with a double object ; they afford shelter to the young 
and tender cacao, and sustenance to himself. At the end of the 
prearranged time, generally five years, he restores the land to its 
owner, and receives a premium of one shilling per head for each 
bearing tree he has planted. 

Cacao is much more attractive during growth than its older 
rival, sugar. The varied foliage, the bright yellow, green and 
crimson pods, pendant from the trunk and principal branches, the 
toweriog bois immortels, all afford a tout ensemble very striking to 
the unfamiliar eye. The pods when opened disclose a slightly 
acidulated pulp, pleasant and refreshing to the palate. There are 
two crops annually, viz., in June and December; some cultivators, 
however, disregard these regular seasons, and pick indiscriminately 
all the year round. 

Unlike sugar in another particular, a cacao estate requires no 
costly plant of machinery, and (speaking comparatively) no very 
great amount of labour. The process of preparation for the 
European markets is tolerably simple. 

The pods when picked are gathered into heaps, and opened 
with a small cutlass. These heaps, after having been covered 
with plantain or fig leaves, are left for some days to ferment, or, 
if the estate has a proper ' sweating ' house, the inner portion of 


the pods is at once transported to it. Next the beans are spread 
out on the upper floor of the curing-house to dry in the sun until 
every particle of the pulp has disappeared. A low sliding roof, 
which moves easily backwards or forwards, enables the pro- 
prietor to shelter the beans from the heavy downfalls of rain 
which frequently surprise one in the tropics. Finally, after being 
sufiiciently exposed and dried, the cacao is put into bags, or 
fanegas, of 110 lb., when it is ready for export. 



For varied phases of tropical scenery in the most distant regions 
of the island, you cannot do better than take a trip to the east 
coast. You will require two desiderata at the outset — first, a 
pretty good animal, be it horse or mule ; second, not a small 
modicum of endurance. The journey is long, sometimes trying, 
and the roads are — well, not exactly perfect. 

Take the train to Arima, sending your beast in a horse-truck 
(cost, five shillings). From Arima Station the journey will be 
it cheval for I am afraid to say how many miles. If you have a 
good companion, so much the better and the more the merrier. 
You pass through the little town of Arima, which has been 
described in Chapter XII., and soon come into the land of cacao, 
with the magnificent shady hois immortel. At first you will have 
to ford several rivers, which may be a little troublesome in the 
wet season. Three miles beyond Arima, at Guanapo Village, you 
come to a fork in the road. Take the left turning, for, as the old 
couplet has it — 

• If you go to the left you are right, 
If you turn to the right you'll go wrong.' 

I did the latter on one occasion, very much to my mortification, 
not discovering the error of my ways till I had reached Mr. John 


Agostini's house on the Comuto road, when, of course, I had to 
retrace my steps, consoling myself with the sorry reflection that 
there is no teacher like experience. Three more miles through 
cacao and Crown lands bring you to Valencia, with its large 
Portuguese shop and Registrar's office in one. We call all shops 
of this kind ' Portuguese,' though the proprietor maybe a Creole, 
as in this case. He is a very obliging Creole too, for he lent me 
his horse and buggy once when I was in sore need. The road to 
the left leads to Toco, not your direction. You follow that to the 
right, which soon brings you to the ' Long Stretch,' a piece of road 
that goes almost due east as straight as the arrow flies for several 
miles. Here 3^011 may ride for hours, scarcely seeing a sign of 
human life, except now and then a solitary bare-footed, shirt- 
sleeved pedestrian (some of our black countrymen are tremendous 
walkers, and would give Weston himself a twister) briskly 
trudging townwards, cutlass in hand, coat and boots slung over 
his shoulder. Your genuine native would as soon think of flying 
as of travelling without his cutlass (snakes !), and the boots betray 
the fact that he is bound for town. When he reaches Arima 
Station, if not before, he will don coat, boots, etc., and play the 
swell till he returns. Here a marked difference is noticeable be- 
tween the Creole labourer and the Coolie. When the former goes 
in for pedal coverings, he usually prefers light dandy boots, and 
would rather undergo unutterable tortures from corns, bunions, 
and such-like ills, than let you imagine his feet are larger than 
they should be. Mr. Coolie, on the other hand, believes in 
quantity, not in quality, and you may frequently see him stalking 
gravely along sans breeches (kapra, of course, wapped gracefully 
round the loins), with his inevitable whity-green umbrella, and 
shod in elephantine boots that would worthily become a Brobding- 

Huge trees whose stems are crowded with parasites catch the 
eye continually, while the cries of birds unknown in more habited 
regions equally appeal to the ear. Now the air resounds with the 
discordant ' craw ' of the crake, so loud as almost to startle you in 


your loneliness ; or it may be the melancholy, plaintive cooing of 
the wood-dove calling its mate, or the absurdly comic sounds 
emitted by the corn-bird, the inharmonious shrieks of parrots 
flying in pairs high above the tallest trees, and all the time the 
incessant but more familiar ' qu'est-ce-qu'il-dit.' The high woods 
abound with charms to the botanist — rare orchids, filmy ferns, 

About six miles from Valencia you pass the little wooden church 
of Turure (Anglican), built in 1883, almost entirely by the exer- 
tions of the labouring classes of this quarter, who, being too poor 
to give much in the way of hard cash, gave their labour freely. 
Turure Church, too, is a landmark, for it is nearly midway be- 
tween Arima and the Atlantic, twelve miles more or less from 
either. Don't rely upon any information which the good country 
folk may tender you regarding distance. They mean well, but I 
emphatically deny that they have any conception of distance. The 
first time I did this journey alone, when about half-way up the 
' Long Stretch,' I inquired of an intelligent-looking road-labourer 
how much farther it was to Sangre Grande. ' About three miles,' 
was the ready reply. My heart was gladdened, and I proceeded 
on my journey. After another half-hour, I repeated my inquiry, 
receiving the response, still with an air of authority that seemed 
to carry conviction with it, 'Not too far — about a quarter of a 
mile.' This may have been correct, but if so, it was the longest 
quarter of a mile I have ever travelled, for it took me another 
good thirty-five minutes to do it. Beyond Turure the cottages 
begin to dot the roadside with greater frequency, and there is 
more attempt at cultivation. Crossing the good Cunape bridge 
(the old one was a wretch !), you soon reach the Sangre Grande 
Rest-house, a boon to the dusty and wayworn. It would be 
advisable to stay here for the night ; the Government provides 
the place on purpose. You will get a clean bed for yourself and 
stabling for the horse, while the constable in charge, who is a 
civil, obliging fellow, will do his best to find food for man and 
beast at a fairly moderate cost. By the way, it is always a good 


plan in these country trips to have a few tins of provisions. You 
may be able to get crackers (small crisp flour biscuits) and sardines 
at the small shops, but you can be certain of nothing beyond this ; 
while with one of Silver's tins of soup, with its heating apparatus 
attached, you have only to strike a match, and in two minutes 
you have a good plate of soup fit for a king ! The following 
' Rest-house tariff' has been fixed by the Government : 



One bed (per night) .... 


One cot ,, .... 


Persons using the Rest-house, but not 


bed or cot ..... 




Breakfast ...... 


Dinner ...... 


Grass for one horse .... 


Oats (per lb.) . 


Start early in the morning, for you have four or five miles of 
uncomfortable travelling before you. Even in the dry part of the 
year, the less said about it the better. I had the misfortune to 
pass along it after one of the heaviest rainy seasons on record, 
when it was well-nigh impassable. Expecting the worst, just 
before starting I asked a road-officer, ' How about those Manzanilla 
roads ?' ' Oh,' said he, ' they are just what they ought to be this 
time of the year.' 

My experience of them, however, convinced me that they were 
just what they ought not to have been ; perhaps this is what Mr. 
Road-Officer meant. An amusing story is told that some tra- 
vellers, floundering up to their knees in mud, came, in the worst 
part, upon a man who was probing the soft earth with a ten-foot 
pole. ' What are you doing f said they. ' Well,' replied the man, 
who was a contractor, 'my cart and mules, coming this way 
yesterday, got stuck here, and I am trying to find whereabouts 
they are.' Unfortunately for the veracity of this story, it is 


repeated and vouched for in every locality that has bad roads, so 
the reader must take it for what it is worth. The fact is, the 
Government is somewhat shy of taking these roads in hand, on 
account of the expense in carting material ; but the difficulty will 
have to be faced ere long, now that the country is being opened 
so rapidly. Money must be voted ungrudgingly, and expended 
judiciously. A few years ago these particular roads used to be 
impassable for want of traffic ; now it is the excess of it that 
makes them so. 

There is compensation, however, for the difficult travelling, for 
every now and then the view is charming, and it is always 
changing as you go up hill and down dale. A well-to-do Spanish 
Creole, Mr. Hernandez, has been doing wonders in the quarter 
during the last few years. His splendid cacao estates and flourish- 
ing, well-planted provision-grounds cannot fail to attract the eye. 
Some of the hills are pretty steep ; one in particular, Mount Cala- 
bash, is quite precipitous, though not so bad to ascend as to 
descend. Manzanilla Roman Catholic church, which you pass, 
was built in 1879, the Anglican one in 1S80. The village is a 
large and straggling one, the inhabitants, or rather the majority 
of them, being descendants of the disbanded black soldiers, who 
received each man from the Government a grant of sixteen acres 
of Crown land (five carries in the old Spanish measure, one carree 
being three and a fifth acres). Many also received grants of land 
at Turure, "but they left the spot after a time, migrating further 
east, where the soil was more fertile. 

Long before you get a sight of it you hear a muffled roar — the 
surging and beating of the waves of the mighty Atlantic ahead. 
A short distance from the beach you pass the Manzanilla police- 
station, where Mr. H. D. Huggins, the Magistrate and Warden of 
Mayaro, holds his Court once a month. 

At length the last steep descent brings you down to the sea, 
where the deliciously cool breeze and the pleasant beach will 
soon cause you to forget the first discomforts. 

Off the Point to the left are the sunken rocks called the 


Carpenters, where a slaver was wrecked in 1802. The surf 
here sometimes is very heavy. All the coconuts within range 
of vision belong to the fine estate called the Cocal, a large pro- 
perty leased by Messrs. T. A. Finlayson and Co. from the Borough 
Council of Port-of-Spain. Just at the back of the Cocal is the 
Mitan or Nariva Eiver, which meanders along more or less 
parallel with the beach till it discharges itself about ten miles 
below into the ocean. After riding along the sand about three 
or four miles, you catch a glimpse on the right of what appears 
to be a lake. It is, however, a widening of the river, known as 
the Doubloon. A certain Jean Paul agreed to open out a passage 
here to the sea for the sum of one doubloon. He earned his 
money easily enough, for it is said that he simply drew his stick 
along the sand, and the water quickly following made such an 
outlet that for a long time a ferry-boat was required to enable 
travellers to cross it. 

The origin of the Cocal is rather curious. Early in the 
eighteenth century, a vessel laden with coconuts was wrecked off 
the coast. The nuts in their husks floated ashore for miles, 
sprouted, took root, and in course of time became what you see 
it now, an apparently almost endless line of trees sixteen miles 
in length. The beach is the Queen's highway until you reach 
Mayaro, almost as far as you can see. If you are fortunate 
enough to have a letter of introduction to Mr. Legge, you may 
call at his residence, which nestles among the coconut trees, 
nearly in the middle of the bay. A short rest, if only for a 
few minutes, will doubtless be acceptable to horse, if not to 
rider, probably to both. Mr. Legge has under him the largest 
oil-mills and fibre-factory in the colony. A look through the 
mill may not be uninteresting, and your horse will assuredly not 
object to the delay. On this estate there are more than 50,000 
coconut trees, yielding a million and a half of nuts per annum. 
Here are manufactured 30,000 gallons of oil and 1,000 bales 
of fibre a year. I am told that accidents are exceedingly rare, 
though the fibre-making, like many other mill operations, seems 


dangerous, and the long sharp teeth have a cruel, unrelenting 
appearance. The beach makes a magnificent natural road at low- 
tide, the only drawback to it being that trunks and branches of 
huge trees brought down by the Orinoco torrents from the 
South American mainland have drifted ashore, and dispute the 
•way here and there. But this is a small matter. Look out on 
the smooth sand for the air-bladders of the Portuguese men- 
of-war, which abound at certain seasons. Should you bathe, it 
is just as well not to tread barefooted on one of these little 
creatures, for they have a way of resenting it which 
will make you wish for a time that you had never felt one. 
An application of diluted ammonia, or, failing that, eau-de-Cologne 
or Florida water, will relieve the pain. You may perhaps see 
the ridiculous chouf-chouf washed up by the tide. When 
scratched under the belly with a little sand or anything 
else of a rough nature, he inflates himself (is it pride, pleasure, 
or indignation ?) till he looks for all the world like an animated 
Rugby football ; indeed, if pitched into the sea in this condition, 
he will be unable to sink till he has reduced himself to his 
original dimensions. Perhaps, too, you may see a shark disport- 
ing himself in the shallow water, or a gigantic turtle solemnly 
creeping along. A greenback recently caught here weighed 
100 lb. You have to cross the Nariva and Ortoire Rivers, w-hich 
empty themselves into this bay. A large punt will ferry you 
over easily enough, and you need not even take the trouble to 
dismount. Both of these are mighty streams in their way, for 
in the wet season the fresh water rushes down with a current 
that defies the tide. They have abundance of fish which may 
be seen jumping about : not puny little things, such as we are- 
accustomed to have on our dinner-tables in town, but giant 
fellows, grupas, 7 to 8 feet long. An enormous female saw-fish, 
17-Jj- feet in length, was caught here in 1887. An idea of its size 
will be gained when the reader learns that four strong men could 
not manage to carry one half of the liver without frequent, 
haltings to rest. Among the thousands of smaller eggs were 


picked out forty-eight of the largest, each about two-thirds the 
size of an ostrich egg. On the banks you may sometimes see 
huillias or water-boas (anaconda) from 20 to nearly 30 feet in 
length. A huillia will seize upon a young pig or lamb with 
avidity, reduce it to a mash or pulp with his powerful contracting 
muscles, and gulp it down forthwith. This plan does away with 
the work of mastication ; at any rate, the teeth are brought very 
little into play. If one should come in your way, and you have 
not a good gun, you had better, as our American cousins say, 
'skedaddle.' But more marvellous, because more rare, is the 
manati, or sea-cow. I have had the luck to see several in the 
Nariva River, though unfortunately these singular creatures are 
fast becoming extinct here, as in other parts of the world. They 
are huge and clumsy, but otherwise timid and harmless enough. 
Very few Trinidadians who saw the stuffed Australian dugong in 
the Colindries of 1886 knew that we had its New World repre- 
sentative in Trinidad. Some years ago there was a baby manati 
at the Zoological Gardens which used to afford much amusement. 
It was under the charge of Mr. F. Bartlett, who was in the habit 
of wading knee-deep into the tank to administer nourishment 
from a large bottle. Almost invariably ' Baby,' as soon as 
satisfied, would playfully give a whisk of her tail, and capsize 
her 'Nurse,' when some rough-and-tumble play would ensue. 

Alligators may frequently be found lurking in the mangrove 
swamps, where are also swarms of iguanas. The high woods 
here, as elsewhere, abound in game. I have often met with the 
large-billed toucan, and there is another wood-bird, probably the 
campanero, that I have heard but never seen, which makes a 
noise exactly like the beating of a smith upon his anvil. 

About forty-five years ago, Lord Harris and a party were 
crossing the Ortoire, when the conversation turned upon the 
large snakes found hereabout. One of the negro guides volun- 
teered the information that he once saw a huillia so long that 
when its head reached the further side its tail was still ' on dis 
bank !' A small grain of salt must be taken with this. The 



natives are splendid at these yarns, and, with a little judicious 
drawing out, will give you anecdotes and experiences that put 
Baron Munchausen to the blush. 

The Ortoire being crossed, you have to ascend the steep Mayaro 
hill, from the top of which a magnificent view is obtained, over- 
looking the sea, the village, and the coconut estates of Messrs. 
F. Urich and Son, Mr. F. A. Ganteaume, Mr. Penco and a host of 
smaller proprietors. The nearest estate, Mr. Urich's St. Bernard, 
is very regularly planted, and the tall palms remind one forcibly 
of the pine forests of Europe. To avoid the steep ascent, Mr. 
Urich offered the Government a right of way through his estate, 
and this plan, if adopted, would give a carriage drive from Man- 
zanilla to Guayaguayare, a splendid sweep. All along the beach 
extends the village of Mayaro, which boasts of the usual two 
churches. The Eoman Catholic one, the larger of the two, has a 
fine altar of native wood, carved with much taste and skill by the 
officiating priest, Abbe Mailleux. The Anglican one, opened in 
1880, is of cedar, and contains the altar and font originally in the 
Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Port-of-Spain. It was built in 
1879, close to the school-house. The population of Mayaro is 
about 600, nearly every man having his own little piece of land 
with a few coconut trees and cottage on it. 

About three miles along this beach, you come to a straight 
road called Plaisance, branching off to the right ; on the hill far 
down is the police-station in a hamlet known as Ganteaumesville. 
Unless you have an introduction, to someone, you had better 
steer for the police-station and take there the, by this time, much- 
needed rest and refreshment. As yet, hotels in these parts are 
things of the dim, and, I fear, distant future, but the kindly 
Corporal will put you up for the night, and let you out again in 
the morning, provided you have not in the meantime disturbed 
the peace of Her Majesty's lieges. Five miles farther down the 
beach would have brought you to Messrs. Urich's coconut-oil 
factory at Lagon Doux, where about 30,000 nuts per week are 
converted into oil Recently, nuts have been shipped direct from 


this port to London, instead of being sent first to Port-of-Spain 
as formerly. 

Having had a good night's rest, the next question is how to 
return. Probably you will prefer another route — there is one 
across the island to Princes' Town, known as the Mayaro Trace. 
Turning your back to the police-station and your face westward 
ho ! — you recross the Ortoire, this time by a good bridge, and 
along a new road into the 'Trace.' Less than a mile and you 
are in high woods, primeval forest it might be termed, so unfre- 
quented is it, so lonely and so romantic. Here the sound of your 
horse's tread will send the startled game flying out of the 
cloistered recesses of this Cathedral of Nature, for it is a grand 
hunting country. The native sportsmen, who make quite a 
business of it, start on Friday evening, returning on Sunday laden 
with the sports of the chase. Here, too, even more than on the 
Manzanilla Koad, caution will have to ' mark the guarded way,' 
for you are journeying along a ' Trace,' not a carriage-road. Mid- 
way between Bande de l'Est and Savanna Grande you will be 
glad to dismount at the ' Queen's House,' where you will bless 
the thoughtful benevolence of a paternal Government, which 
shows such consideration for the weary. It is a rude sort of 
building, however, and you will have to be your own caterer, or 
you will fare badly, for there is no one to do it for you. 

On one occasion, Governor Keate, Judge Fitzgerald, Mr. Syl. 
Devenish, and his son, Mr. Abel Devenish, paused here awhile to 
recruit the inner man. Each adapted himself to the circum- 
stances, and I should have liked to have been there to see Her 
Majesty's representative collecting and bringing in the dry wood, 
the genial old Judge Fitz cleaning the plates and mugs, Syl. the 
humourist and raconteur for the nonce turned gastronomist, while 
the more youthful Abel performed the general duties of factotum. 

A few more hours after this halt will bring you to Princes' 
Town, where you may easily get to San Fernando, and so home- 
wards, or you may stay and pay a visit to the neighbouring Mud 
Volcanoes. (See Chapter XV.) 





Diego Martin is situated between six and seven miles from 
Port-of-Spain, the Blue Basin being a couple of miles farther. 
Its position with regard to the capital may best be described by 
the right angle ABC:— B— — C 

A. Port-of-Spain. 

B. The Four Roads. 

C. Diego Martin Village. 


The cab fare is an open question, but it should not be more 
than five dollars for the return journey. Starting from A along 
the Tragarete Road, the following landmarks between Tran- 
quillity Boulevard and the point B may be noted : — 

St. Clair House of Refuge. 
Woodbrook Estate. 
St. Clair Government Farm. 
St. James' Barracks and Village. 
Fort George Signal Station. 
The Leper Asylum, Cocorite. 

Pleasant glimpses of the Gulf, Five Islands and Shipping are 
caught here and there during this portion of the journey. Wood- 
brook (Mr. Burnley), the first sugar estate, has lately had new 
vacuum pan works erected on it. The House of Refuge is 
nearly opposite, and the Government Farm a little beyond, both 
on the right side of the road. On reaching the little green, a 
noble avenue of Samans branches off to St. James' Barracks. 
These are large, well-ventilated buildings, the design of Mr. P. 
Reinagle, with airy upper and lower galleries. The Officers' 
Mess is in the centre of the two large main blocks. The entrances 
with their lofty porticos and flights of stone steps present an 


imposing appearance. These barracks cost the sum of £80,000, 
having been commenced in 1824 and finished three years later. 
The site was at the time considered to be very ill-chosen, and it 
was doubtless a most unhealthy spot, though it will now bear 
favourable comparison with any part of Trinidad. There are 
large baths, convenient store-rooms and magazine, canteen and 
infirmary, with all the other usual appurtenances of a garrison. 
The present tenants, who are quite new arrivals, consist of two 
companies of the East Yorkshire (15th) Eegiment, under the 
command of Major Daniell. This Regiment has seen a great 
deal of service, and bears on its colours the following honorary 
distinctions : — ' Blenheim, Ramilies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet, 
Louisberg, Quebec, 1759, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Afghanistan, 
1879-80.' The St. James police - station and the Military 
Cemetery are just past the barracks. The burial-ground was 
consecrated in February, 1825, by the Bishop of Barbados, in the 
presence of Governor Sir Ralph Woodford, several naval officers, 
besides the whole garrison, who turned out en masse. I expect 
there was more need of a cemetery then than happily there is 
now. As far as I can remember during the last five years, there 
has only been one death among the soldiers. 

The St. James or Perou Village is almost entirely a Coolie 
settlement, having its Hindoo temples and fetes. The little 
Anglican Church of St. Agnes has been erected, and services are 
held by the Rev. R. H. Moor with a view to doing a little in the 
way of christianizing and humanizing these people. 

At the time of the capitulation of Trinidad, all of what is now 
the village of St. James and its neighbourhood comprised the 
Perou sugar estate, belonging to Mr. Devenish. The part of the 
shore near what is now Dr. Rake's house was chosen to be the 
landing-place of the English soldiers, who celebrated the occasion 
with high jinks, for they broke open the boiling-house and 
distilleries, and made grog on a gigantic scale by emptying two 
hogsheads of sugar and three puncheons of rum into a well, 
drawing up the beverage by means of a bucket. We are glad to 


hear that the troops, on the whole, behaved in a more becoming 
style, and that this escapade was one of the very few irregularities 

A road on the right leads to the Government Signal station, 
Fort George, standing on a peak about two-thirds of the height 
of the main ridge, 1,120 feet above the level of the sea. Kofi 
Nti, the son of the late King Kofi Kalkalli of Ashanti, who, 
during his few years' residence in Trinidad, was placed under 
the charge of the writer, had a small share in the erection of the 
new building here. Thinking, I suppose, to add to the beauty of 
the structure, he painted his royal monogram, W.K.jST., in con- 
spicuous places here and there, an embellishment, doubtless, 
highly gratifying to himself. Unfortunately, however, the 
Director of Public Works, not being so much edified as astounded 
at a piece of decorative art which had no part in the original 
plans, ordered it to be summarily effaced. 

Eummaging one day in the Public Library in the musty, fusty 
department, among ' Many a quaint and curious volume of for- 
gotten lore,' I stumbled across some lines anent this same Fort 
George, published in the Pmi-of-Spain Gazette for 1846. Proba- 
bly the author of them, whoever, he was, is in his grave, but 
should he be enjoying a green old age, as I sincerely hope he may 
be, I am sure he will excuse the liberty I take in unearthing his 
smart little verses. I ought to state the incident which gave 
rise to them. A severe storm had capsized the old ' Fort 
George,' and the poet thus laments the fact : 


' Fort George is gone — that fine old fort ; 

We'll never see it more ! 
And now 'tis fallen, the wonder is 
It did not fall before. 

' Full many a year that old fort frowned, 

Where now it lies full low ; 
It " braved the battle and the breeze," 
But could not stand a " blow." 


' When Christmas came — in former days 
The time for martial schoolery, 
Three guns from Fort George battery were 
The signal for — Tomfoolery. 

' Its guns did then a great noise make 

They would have made a louder 
If when the soldiers loaded them 
They had put in more powder. 

' Then all our townsfolk turned as red 

As lobsters in hot water, 
And — had there been an enemy, 

There might have been much slaughter. 

' But after vapouring a week 

The scarlet fever vanished ; 
And till " next Christmas " martial thoughts 

"Were from each bosom banished. 


' No longer famed for " deeds of arms," 

Or sung in " martial story ;" 
It served us as a signal-post, 

And earned much peaceful glory. 

' It signalled vessels small and large, 
And kept a watch so bright ; 
It sometimes told the startling tale 
Of vessels " out of sight."'* 

' Farewell old Fort ! nor grieve that thou 
Hast sunk beneath the blast, 
There's many an old familiar thing 
We number with the past. 

' The brave Hussars ! the bold Dragoons ! 

No trace of these remain, 
•Our " Martial Law " for ever's gone 
And eke the Law of Spain. 

' Where's Hislop ? — who thy structure reared, 
Picton — the bold and brave ? — 
Where's Abercrombie ? — sleeps he sound 
By Syria's briny wave ? 

Signal No. 39 formerly. 


' Where's Woodford ? — many a fathom deep 

In ocean's cave he lies ! 
Where's Young ?— Where's Hill ?— Where's Grant also ? 
I cannot say likewise. 

' Where's the Cahildo ? — sound they sleep, 

Those once " Illustrious " sires ; 
Each in his " narrow cell " is laid, 
And quenched their patriot " fires." 

' Farewell old friend — upon thy tomb 

This epitaph I fix — 
"Died of these (stupid !) peaceful times, 
In anno Forty-six." ' 

After Fort George the road becomes very picturesque, winding, 
as it does, round the base of the hills. Passing the Leper Asylum 
on the right (see Chapter XI.), next in order comes Cocorite 
Farm, the property of the Borough Council, not worked, however, 
by them, but leased out. About four miles from town the 
angle B is reached, representing the village of Four Eoads, each 
of the roads leading respectively to Port-of-Spain, Cuesa Valley, 
Maraval and Diego Martin. 

The valley of Diego Martin presents to the lovers of the 
morbid or sensational no less than four subjects of extraordinary 
interest, all closely allied to each other, inasmuch as it has been 
the scene of four murders, all marked by great atrocity — all 
undiscovered, though years have lapsed since their committal, 
and consequently the perpetrators still go unpunished. This, 
from a moral point of view, is greatly to be deplored, since it 
gives injurious prominence to the fact that not in all cases does 
retribution follow when the blood of the slain cries aloud for 
vengeance. In all probability these crimes will remain shrouded 
in mystery until that great Day when the secrets of all hearts 
shall be revealed. 

Our main object for the present, however, is to reach the Blue 
Basin, so following up the Diego Martin Road we pass the 
abandoned estate, La Puerto, (Mr. N. Brunton), which, like the 
adjacent one of Crystal Stream, might be utilized as a stock or 


provision farm. On the second-named estate occurred tragedy 
number one. A respectable Scotch gentleman, Mr. Harris, while 
enjoying as he imagined the fancied security of home, in the 
midst of profound peace and apparent contentment, was fired at 
through the open window by some ruffian who perhaps owed him 
a slight grudge. The gun was loaded with slugs or jagged 
pieces of sheet lead, which cut the jugular, and inflicted fearful 
and mortal injuries. 

Next comes Sierra Leone village, owing its name to the fact 
that a number of freed slaves from Sierra Leone were located 
here. These same slaves got up a riot or insurrection in 1805, 
which gave some trouble ; eventually four of them were executed, 
and several others banished. On the right is another abandoned 
sugar estate, formerly Mr. Herrera's, but now the property of the 
wealthy General Navarro, who has had a large part planted with 
para grass, it is hoped with a view to establishing a stock farm. 

Diego Martin proper is a long, straggling village with Roman 
Catholic, Anglican, and Wesleyan Churches, a good Government 
school, police-station, etc. The first-named church on the left 
of the road is a good stone building, with a well-fitted interior. 
The people of the district, mostly poor, during the course of its 
erection gave their labour gratuitously to the value of $3,000 ! 
The Anglican Church of St. Michael on the right is also a good 
stone building, with comfortable rectory adjacent, and capital 
glebe of pasture and coconuts. The foundation stone was laid 
by Governor Keate, and its consecration by Bishop Rawle took 
place in 1875. As in the case of the Eoman Catholic Church, the 
labouring class gave their assistance freely. The stained east 
window is, however, its pride — representing our Saviour with a 
lamb in His bosom, and surrounded by the four evangelists. The 
present rector is the Rev. W. I. Keay. Near by is the police- 
station, erected in 1884 at a cost of £708, while towards the end 
of the village are the Wesleyan Chapel and Government School. 
The Methodist Mission was started here in 183S by the Rev. W. 


Beyond this point the road forks, the right branch leading to 
Paver estate with its water-mill, and the left to Cascade, both 
properties belonging to Mr. Brnnton. About three-quarters of a 
mile down the latter road, you come to the lovely cascade which 
gives it name to the estate. By many this is preferred to the 
Blue Basin ; the water descends from a greater height, though its 
fall is broken by a succession of terraces. Possibly it would be 
more widely known were it less difficult of access, and not 
situated on private property. 

Taking the right branch of the forked road we have Biver 
estate, and here occurred tragedy number two. About two 
hundred yards from the works and twenty feet from the high 
road the body of a Coolie woman was found dead in the cane- 
piece. She had evidently been strangled Thug fashion, a short 
rope having been left round her neck. 

Tragedy number three took place about half a mile from the 
foot of the North Post Hill, where the road branches off to the 
Blue Basin. Here a significant black wooden cross marks the 
consummation of as dark a deed as ever disgraced the annals of 
the colony. The Abbe Jouin, supposed to have been enticed 
from his house for the express purpose, was set upon, foully mur- 
dered and mutilated in a shocking manner. 

Midway between the sombre cross and the foot of the hill 
some abandoned land is reached — the scene of tragedy number 
four. One Sunday about noon a young man and his wife, both 
Coolies, entered this piece of brushwood ostensibly for the pur- 
pose of collecting, as is their custom, the weekly supply of fire- 
wood. But one — the man — returned. Next day an unusual 
flight of corbeaux hovering around disclosed the fact that there 
was something wrong, and the poor inanimate remains of the 
female were soon found atrociously outraged. 

Happily we have got to the end of these miserable details, and 
we will turn to more pleasing matter. There is a choice of two 
roads, one leading to the North Post, the other to the Blue 
Basin ; let us begin with the former. At the end of the level 


we have before us what Brother Jonathan would term ' rising 
ground.' It is a pretty steep ascent, not by any means practi- 
cable for a trap, nor indeed for every description of horse and 
rider ; twenty minutes, however, honestly expended, will bring 
you to within a short distance of the summit, where the slope 
becomes more gradual, as though Nature had wisely arranged 
that one of her masterpieces should not be spoiled by having the 
faculty of enjoyment on the part of the sight-seer deadened 
through fatigue. At length the North Post reached, you are 740 
feet above the sea-level, and then what a glorious vista opens to 
view ! Looking seawards it is simply sublime — to the east and 
within a mile may be descried a few small islets, the sea breaking 
over them in milk-white foam. Farther in the same direction 
Tobago may be discerned, while due north, distant ninety miles, 
the dim outline of Grenada and some of the Grenadines may be 
distinctly made out on a clear day. From this point of vantage 
all vessels approaching the island are seen many miles off, and 
their arrival telegraphed by signal to Port-of-Spain via Fort George. 
Turning to the right-about, at nearly the same level as the sea 
outside, in the words of Tom Moore : 

' The valley lay smiling before me ;' 

and a beautiful valley without doubt it is. Immediately below 
nestles the River estate, the only one now in cultivation, all the 
rest having been given up from natural causes, sterility being 
perhaps the chief one, for the soil here is poor compared with 
that in some parts of Trinidad. Now and then patches of cacao 
are seen, or small provision-grounds, but in general Nature is 
allowed, as it were, to run wild. This sort of thing, however, is 
favourable to the accumulation of game, and the hills abound 
with quenck, agouti, and deer, affording excellent hunting- 

So far we have been dealing with the North Post road ; the 
other, to the right, leads to Beau Sejour Village and the Blue 
Basin. After the village, the lands belong to Mr. Fuller, who 


has charge of the North Post, and are chiefly planted in cacao. 
You cannot drive beyond Mr. Fuller's residence ; it is possible 
to ride, but as the distance is short and the road steep, I should 
advise you to tramp it. You will ascend for a time, then a 
gentle descent brings you suddenly to another of the many 
charming and romantic spots in this island — the Falls of the 
Blue Basin. Numerous streamlets from high up the hill collect 
and leap by a cascade into the basin below. From this the water 
flows away in a downward course, forming here and there several 
minor basins, and finally becomes the Diego Martin River, which 
you cross near the Four Eoads. On a cloudless day the water 
of the basin assumes a decidedly bluish tint ; hence its name. 
The inevitable empty bottles and discarded sardine-tins dese- 
crating the place are silent witnesses to the fact that it is a 
famous picnic resort. Shady nooks, a luxuriant growth of 
tropical vegetation, tender lycopodiums and maiden-hair ferns, 
rare parasites, cool clear sparkling water — what more can one 
desire ? 

If when at the Four Boads, instead of going in the Blue Basin 
direction, you take the left turning, the road soon, crosses the 
Diego Martin Biver, which has washed out a deep hole just 
below the bridge. It then skirts the foot of the hills for about 
a mile, passing provision grounds, cacao plantations, and an 
abandoned sugar estate, and having on the left a broad extent of 
marshy land stretching to the Gulf. Point Cumana is then 
reached, and here the road proper may be said to end ; for 
although the sea-shore is by courtesy styled a road, it is by no 
means without its dangers, interruptions by landslips and quick- 
sands being far from uncommon, especially after spring tides. 
At first there is a good sandy beach, then we come to the village 
of Coco, with the ubiquitous ' Chinee ' shop, and a little further 
on the small fishing village of Anse Mitan. The shore is here 
indented by miniature bays, rocky headlands, and at high tide 
the passage round these is of some difficulty, the water being 
often up to the horse's girths, while its muddiness obscures the 


masses of rock which obstruct the way. About two miles of 
this brings you to St. Pierre, where the steamboat jetty has been 
recently repaired by anchoring the old steam-dredger at its ex- 
tremity ! At the shore end of the pier is a little Catholic chapel, 
and more inland is a good-sized Roman Catholic Church, with a 
large statue of the patron saint of the village outside. The late 
Abbe of the church, Bev. Father Poujade, was well known as 
being a clever amateur organ-builder. St. Pierre has its police- 
station and a commodious newly-erected Government school. 
The inhabitants are chiefly fishermen. 

Proceeding, you will have to keep well out from the shore, as 
the quicksands are numerous. Fortunately, the water is shallow 
and the bottom gravelly, so that travelling, though slow, is com- 
paratively safe. After rounding another headland we enter a little 
bay where a few cacti and some specimens of Epidendrum hicor- 
nutum give warning that we are nearing the islands of the Bocas. 
We now reach the watch-house of the Tucker Valley estate, and a 
pleasant surprise comes upon us in the form of a thoroughly-good 
road turning sharp to the right, while the track we have been 
following goes along the edge of a broad sandy bay fringed with 
dense black roseau. This trace, if still followed, would bring us 
to Hart's Cut, Chaguaramas Bay, and eventually to Teteron's Bay 
opposite the first Boca. We will, however, pursue the road to 
the right. 

Passing the watch-house on our left, we traverse about a quarter 
of a mile of beautiful forest land. On the right the hills rise al- 
most perpendicularly, covered with thick bush. On the left are 
marshes with rank, luxuriant foliage, tall tree-ferns, wild tanias, 
lianes, and such a wealth of vegetable wonders as to make us 
imagine ourselves in one of the houses of Kew. Emerging almost 
regretfully from this piece of uncleared land we came to the Cuesa 
Valley or Tucker Valley estate. On one side the valley has been 
planted with coconuts which are now making good progress. The 
green grass beneath the trees and the tiny streamlets intersecting 
the estate in various directions, are very refreshing to the eye, 


and are more suggestive of an English meadow than a tropical 
plantation. On the other side of the road the land has lately been 
cleared, and quantities of cacao trees, besides plantains and corn, 
have been planted. After about two miles the village of Mount 
Pleasant is passed. Here a bridle-path crosses the ridge to Diego 
Martin Village, but the road is bad, and hard to find without a 
guide. Mount Pleasant possesses an Anglican church, and the 
village has been considerably increased by the recent erection of 
numerous barracks for the labourers on the estate. 

Another mile and a half through newly-cleared and planted 
land brings us to the north coast of Trinidad. On the western 
side of the valley are the Edith Falls, resembling very much in 
general character the cascade at Diego Martin. The Cuesa Valley 
is peculiar in this respect, that it is the only valley in Trinidad in 
which you can travel from the Gulf of Paria to the Caribbean Sea, 
without having to ascend a tolerably steep hill at the northern 
extremity. Maqueripe Bay, which we have now reached, is the 
landing-place of the cable. The bay is surrounded by precipitous 
cliffs covered with foliage, and is gained by a somewhat steep and 
sinuous path. A small stream of fresh water descends the cliff, 
while high up is a deposit of alum. The shore is covered with 
firm sand, and some shingle, and the bathing is excellent. Skirt- 
ing the eastern side of the bay, a shady path passes along the face 
of the cliff some fifty or sixty feet above the sea to a spur of rock, 
on which are the remains of an old fort with a rusty cannon 
dating from George IV. From this fort a charming view of the 
coast line to the west, with Monos, Huevos, Chacachacare and, 
beyond, the hills of Venezuela, can be obtained, while in front the 
beautiful blue of the Caribbean Sea forms a pleasing contrast to 
the verdant foliage covering the cliffs. Steamers can be seen from 
here before they enter the Gulf. 

We have dealt with three out of the ' Four Roads.' The re- 
maining one to the right passes some uncleared land and provision 
grounds, then through Petite Vallee and Cameron Valley by 
several cacao plantations, and finally over the ridge of hill which 


separates Diego Martin from Maraval. This ridge is steep and 
the road very rough in places, so that for a good part of the way 
it is safer to dismount and lead the horse. On the Maraval side 
are also numerous cacao properties. 



This ride of sixteen miles is one of the pleasantest and prettiest 
near Port-of-Spain. Along the Circular Road west of Queen's 
Park, we have the Government farm and pastures of St. Clair on 
our left, with a good view of the military barracks in the back- 
ground. Inclining towards the left instead of turning round in 
the direction of St. Ann's, we follow the winding road skirting 
the hill, the slopes of which are being planted with rice by the 
Coolies. On the opposite side is the road to Blarney, the residence 
of Mrs. Fritz Zurcher. The first sugar estate, Champs Elysies, is 
the property of the Hon. Dr. de Boissiere. About a quarter of a 
mile beyond is the delightful house built by the late Mr. J. E. 
Cipriani, but now belonging to Mr. Penco, who also owns the 
cacao estate near by. The house itself bears the name of Le 
Fromagi (Creole for ceiba or silk-cotton tree), but the tree which 
gave rise to the name has long since been felled. By the way, it 
was extremely difficult to get any of the peasants to undertake 
the job of cutting it down, on account of the superstition prevail- 
ing that the ceiba is the favourite haunt of the ' jumbies.' From 
here to the village the road is well shaded by large trees, while 
now and then pretty glimpses are obtained of the Maraval Paver. 
On the left is the house of Mr. A. K Clairmonte, then ascending 
the hill we come at once upon the reservoir, and here we should 
do well to pause for a minute or two. 

Nature and art have joined hand in hand to make the spot 
a little paradise. The slender, gracefully-arched bamboos, many- 



hued crotons, fragrant oleanders and dainty ferns, with the 
numerous ornamental shrubs surrounding the basins of bright 
clear water, combine to make a tout ensemble that is most striking. 
Stepping across to the other side of the reservoir and down to 
the river, we find charming retreats and shady nooks worthy 
of an artist's pencil. The whole place is scrupulously clean, 
reflecting great credit upon the keeper of the works, who is an 
old warrior with the Balaklava medal, hailing from the Emerald 
Isle. If you have the faintest suspicion of the brogue in your 
speech, he will exhibit what, in his estimation, is the gem of the 
place, a reminiscence of the ' ould counthry ' in the form of a 
genuine live shamrock plant, fondly and proudly cherished. 

The water from this reservoir descends by two principal arteries 
into the town, supplying thence the different sub-mains. 

Continuing our journey, we have to ford the very winding 
river twice before arriving at the village, which is a growing 
place, with a population of about 1,500 souls. Here the first 
object that strikes one is the fine old church on the hill, opposite 
the road to Saut d'Eau. It has a clock tower with three bells, 
and a handsome marble altar, the latter presented by the late 
Mr. J. E. Cipriani. The pictures of the Stations of the Cross 
were subscribed by the congregation, the font being given by Mr. 
Toussaint, a cacao proprietor of the district. Adjacent to the 
church is the presbytery, where the Abbe Alvarez resides. A 
large 'upstairs' house at the foot of the hill is apparently intended 
for a convent and school. The police-station is a really good 
building, and I must here give the Maravalians credit for being, 
on the whole, steady, industrious, law-abiding folk. The labour- 
ing men, unlike the generality of the Creole peasants, are first-rate 
gardeners, and supply the upper part of Port-of-Spain with 
chocolate and vegetables. The men till, the women sell, and 
swarms of them may be seen any day carrying to town on their 
heads huge trays of their green wares, avocado pears (adjutant's 
butter), tomatoes, herbs, etc. The Government school of the 
quarter is near the police-station. 


We soon come to a sign-post informing us that we must Tight 
wheel for Santa Cruz. Had we continued our former route we 
should have reached Moka, an estate where the sugar is gradually 
giving way to the, at present, more profitable cacao industry. 
Mr. Borde's Perseverance on the left is one of the few cacao 
plantations employing indentured labour. 

Moka, however, is not the Saddle, and we had better turn our 
faces eastward. Crossing the Maraval river three times more, we 


begin to ascend gradually, passing provision grounds, till at length 
we arrive at the base of the Silla or Saddle, which is a hill 
in earnest, with steep rocks on either side of the path. Once on 
the summit, at a height of 628 feet, the breeze is very refreshing. 
Descending the other side, at the bottom of the decline, we are 
again in the land of cacao, before us being San Antonio, the fine 
estate of the ex-Chief Justice, Sir Joseph Needham. Then through 
a ravine, usually dry, but with a running stream when heavy 



rains fall, we see the Cutucupano Road on the left, leading to 
Soconusco (Mrs. Matthew). Both this estate and San Antonio 
bear an excellent name for the quality of cacao produced. Sir 
Joseph Needham's house is at present occupied by the Hon. 
H. W. Chantrell, Auditor-General. Passing the presbytery and 
police-station of Santa Cruz, and crossing the river, we reach La 
Pastora Road, where is the finest house in the quarter, a splendid 
specimen of tropical architecture. Here the late Mr. Hypolite 
Borde, the owner, entertained the young English Princes at 
luncheon on the occasion of their visit to Trinidad in 1880. An 
illustration of this house, Mr. Leon Agostini's Coblentz, and the 
Government House at St. Ann's, was given in the Gh-apMc of 
March 8th, 1880. 

Beyond the pleasant La Pastora valley we see the neat 

' Village church that tops the neighbouring hill,' 

from which there is an extensive and delightful view. The 
four handsome chandeliers in the sacred building were given by 
the Abbe Maingot, the parish priest. Continuing along the high 
road through Mr. Coryat's La Prosperidad, where another turning 
branches off to Oasparillo (Mrs. Maingot), we pass the Govern- 
ment school, after which is La Regalada, now the property of Mr. 
F. E. Scott, whose house is on the right, on the opposite side of 
the river. 

I am not aware that snakes particularly affect Santa Cruz, but 
I have a very lively recollection that once upon a time, when 
staying in a cottage in this vicinity, I happened to wake in the 
morning to find a snake with half a foot of body protruding 
through the palm-thatched roof overhead, and performing certain 
graceful spiral evolutions, as if he were trying to spot my nose ! 
Though, as Mrs. Brown puts it, ' I sez it as shouldn't,' the agility 
I displayed in leaping off the bed would, I am sure, have done 
credit to the most skilful acrobat, and must have astonished the 
intruder, who made tracks, doubtless chuckling at the comical 
figure I had cut. 


A succession of pleasant suburban residences now lie before 
us, most of them tenanted or owned by merchants or professional 
gentlemen, whose pursuits occupy them in town during the day. 
Some of them are available for hire for short periods, and are 
therefore greatly patronized by newly-wedded couples enjoying 
the blissful spooning of the honeymoon ! 

The first of these is that of Mr. Penco on La Deseada estate, 
and it is one of the lions of the valley, being famed for its lovely 
gardens. A sign-post informs us the way to Cangrejal (Spanish 
for ' land of crabs '), and then we come to the best bridge in the 
locality. The houses of Mr. de Lapeyrouse and Mr. Angeron are 
on the Eugenie, estate, originally belonging to the old Lefer family. 
Beyond La Canoa rivulet is Bonrg Mulatres, or Mulattoes' Village, 
and near by Mr. Ch. Stollmeyer's property. This gentleman has 
had the pluck and enterprise to build at his own cost a bridge of 
fifty or sixty feet span over the river. Next we come to the 
Curucayo River, where are two roads, the right leading to the 
railway-station, the other towards the village of San Juan. 
Though a trifle out of our way, we will proceed a few steps along 
the latter to peep at Mr. Feautrier's house, built by General 
Hernandez, who, like a good Venezuelan, placed a statue of the 
famous liberator, Simon Bolivar, in the grounds. 

Taking up the homeward route once more, along the right 
road we pass Pave and Bagatelle cottages and Mm Repos, belong- 
ing respectively to Mrs. Eevell, Mrs. Dumoret, and the Misses 
Taitt. A little further on is La Caprice, a pleasant villa, owned 
by the present Mayor of Port-of-Spain, Mr. Francis Damian. 
Then follow a few more neat, pretty houses of much the same 
type as the others, and a short distance brings us out of the 
valley into the eastern main road, close to the San Juan station, 
and about four miles from town. 




The Pitch Lake has been described as one of the 'wonders of 
the world.' It covers an area of about one hundred acres, and 
contains what is apparently an inexhaustible supply of bitumen. 
If you expect grand or romantic scenery, you are doomed to dis- 
appointment — there is nothing of the sort ; the landscape of La 
Brea is tame and uninteresting — almost desolate in appearance. 
But still the phenomenon remains, and to come to Trinidad 
without visiting the Pitch Lake would be as incongruous as going 
to Pisa without inspecting the Leaning Tower. 

The steamers of Messrs. Turnbull Stewart leave Port-of-Spain 
on Mondays and Saturdays, and San Fernando on "Wednesdays at 
the hour of seven a.m., taking rather over five hours to reach 
Cedros and calling at Le Brea en route. The return fare to the 
latter place is ten shillings, and to Cedros fifteen shillings. 

There is nothing particularly remarkable about the short 
voyage. "With fine weather it is certain to be a pleasant one, the 
steamers are clean and comfortable, and you will be sure to enjoy 
the fresh breeze. The dome-shaped hill of San Fernando, twenty- 
four miles distant as the crow flies, is in sight from the moment 
you start, and if you follow the coast still farther, a dull, filmy 
cloud will indicate the direction of La Brea. Behind the town of 
Port-of Spain the northern ridge of mountains extending eastward 
seems to be connected — as indeed it is, beneath the waves — with 
the heights of Venezuela by the rocky islands at the Bocas. 
LoDg-beaked pelicans and other sea-birds are flying about busily 
pursuing their daily avocation of fishing or foraging for scraps 
dropfted by the vessels. 

About two miles from town you pass the mouth of the Caroni, 
the most considerable stream in this island, being twenty-eight 
miles in length. Its banks are the haunt of alligators, iguanas, 


and other saurians. During the stay here of H.M.S. Bacchante 
with the Eoyal Princes in 1880, a party of officers took the steam 
pinnace up the Caroni for an alligator hunt. The} 7 ' found several 
— in fact, one may be said to have found them, for he suddenly 
dropped off a bough of one of the overhanging trees and shot 
headforemost down the stoke-hole of the pinnace, very much to 
the astonishment of the stoker, who was not prepared for such 
an unannounced visitor."*" 

For about ten or eleven miles the shores are a continuous 
mangrove swamp, the habitat of crabs, snakes, etc. This man- 
grove, however, is very serviceable, being made into charcoal, and 
forming our principal source of fuel. As there is nothing par- 
ticularly attractive to look at, let us take a turn round the after- 
deck, where are the second-class passengers, or deckers. Here 
you have a sort of small market, the aroma of Covent Garden 
prevailing. Stout Creole women, each with large baskets or trays 
laden with fruits and vegetables, are tying up cent bundles of 
' sive (a kind of onion), or otherwise preparing their green wares 
for more ready sale. Another variety of rnarchande who has set 
up a restaurant will give you a plate of salt fish, meat and bread, 
for a trifling consideration, while a vendor of drinks is prepared 
with equal readiness to furnish you with an innocent effervescing 
beverage ; of course the style of serving is rather primitive, but 
it suits admirably the classes for whom it is intended. As you 
are not a ' decker,' and are consequently to a small extent tres- 
passing, do not be surprised if the ladies alluded to discourse 
pretty freely in the intervals of sive-sorting, or salt-fish munching, 
as to your personal appearance. The remarks being rendered in 
mellifluous patois, you are at a loss to know whether it is the 
elegant twist of your moustache or some physical peculiarity of 
yours that is the subject of comment. However, where no offence 
is meant none need be taken. Some of these hucksters or traders 
have been backwards and forwards between San Fernando and 
Port-of-Spain fifteen or twenty years, and ten to one you will 
a From ' Cruise of H.1VLS. Bacchante.' 


see them returning in the evening with emptier baskets but fuller 

By this time you will probably be off Chaguanas, named after 
the river. Here is a landing-place on Messrs. Daniel's Felicitc 
estate, from which a tramway extends to Montrose cacao estate 
(Hon. G. Fitt), and thence to the Convict Depot, a distance of six 
miles in all. Experiments in lime and tobacco cultivation have 
recently been made in this district by Mr. C. Fabien. Passing 
Carapichaima you see the tall chimney of the works of Waterloo 
(Mr. J. Cumming). On Brechin Castle estate, the next one, the 
late Mr. Gregor Turnbull built at Monkey Point a good pier 
1,500 feet long, for shipping the sugar. Then come Mr. Burnley's 
three estates, Providence, Esperanza, and Phcenix Park, on the first 
of which is another good wharf. 

One can hardly believe that two or three generations back this 
calm, placid gulf was so belied as to have a bad, and, what is 
infinitely worse, a false reputation, yet such was actually the case. 
Coleridge, in his ' Six Months in the "West Indies,' published 
about sixty years ago, says : ' In one of the charts of the Gulf 
of Paria you see " breakers " here, " breakers " there, " breakers " 
everywhere, the water being always smooth as a mill pond. 
Their history is this. In the Spanish chart the soundings are 
marked by bracas (fathoms); hence our aforesaid "breakers," 
for which at least the translator's head ought to have been 

You are passing the district of Savanetta, with the point of the 
same name, beyond which is Claxton's Bay, where is the good jetty 
extending 1,300 feet, belonging to the Hon. G. Fenwick, whose 
four estates lie inland. Off Pointe-a-Pierre is a greater, depth of 
water than at any other part of the west coast. The Roman 
Catholic Church on the hill, like that at Laventille, near Port-of- 
Spain, affords a conspicuous landmark. A little to the left of it 
are Plaisance works (Messrs. Tennant), and within a stone's-throw 
are the thermal springs mentioned in the previous chapter. Then, 
passing the Colonial Company's Plein Palais estate and the mouth 


of the Guaracara River, you approach the pretty little town of San 
Fernando, its woody eminence dotted here and there with houses 
and churches, presenting altogether a much more picturesque 
appearance from the gulf than the capital does. 

Passengers having been landed and others received on board, 
round go the paddles, and you are soon ploughing the waves 
again in a south-westerly direction. Leaving behind the hospital, 
distinguishable through the trees on the brow of the rocks, you 
pass the Cipero River, a short distance up which is the Embar- 
cadere, an important shipping place before the days of railways, 
and even now of great utility to the Colonial Companj r , who have 
purchased it. A second shipping place, Alley's Creek, separates 
Mr. Lamont's Palmiste estate from La Flaiscmce (Mr. G. Turnbull). 
A third inlet, Mosquito Creek, is the northern entrance to the 
Oropouche Lagoon, a grand spot for aquatic and other birds. The 
southern outlet of the Lagoon is Godineau's River, which is in a 
great measure a canal, originally cut by a French gentleman, M. 
Godineau. After Bellevue estate (Messrs. Tennant) is St. Mary's 
Village, off which the steamer will stop to pick up or drop 
passengers. From this village a road branches off from the main 
Oropouche road, running southward to the famous Siparia Mission. 
Here in the very heart as it were of the woods is a church (Roman 
Catholic) with an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary said to be 
endowed with extraordinary virtues. Tradition says that this 
statue was picked up by Spaniards in the depths of the forest ; it 
remained here for some time, and was then removed to Oropouche 
Church. It made no stay there, however, for on the morning after 
its arrival it was found to have mysteriously disappeared during 
the night, and, on search being instituted, it was discovered in the 
precise spot of the forest where it had first appeared. To the 
superstitious Spaniards this was clearly a sign from heaven. 
Accordingly, in 1758, a church was erected and a mission set on 
foot, conducted by the Aragonese Capuchin Fathers. La Divina 
Pastora, as the image is called, is richly dressed and bedecked 
with valuable jewellery, the offerings of pious pilgrims. There is 


not now a resident priest at Siparia, but occasional masses are 
said by the Cure of Oropouche, and the fete of La Divina Pastora 
is annually held shortly after Easter, when numbers of people 

Eesuming our journey, beyond St. Mary's are Oiaheite estate 
(Mr. E. Lange, jun.) and Nelson, Aripero, and Silver Stream estates, 
lately belonging to Mr. A. Padovani. At the back of Nelson 
farther inland is Mon Desir estate (Mr. Sanderson), the high 
woods near which are capital hunting-grounds, especially for deer. 
In the neighbourhood are some settlements, or villages, Delhi, 
Fyzabad, Barrackpore, and Eoussillac, the inhabitants being chiefly 
free Coolies who go in for raising rice and ground provisions. In 
1885, about 5,000 barrels of rice and 1,500 barrels of unshelled 
maize were produced, this being double the quantity of the 
previous year — a mark of progress ! There are also two African 
villages in the quarter, Yarraba and Krooman. 

Siparia land seems suited to the growth of tobacco ; many of 
the Spanish settlers devote their small holdings to the cultivation 
of it. A fair amount of rice is grown in the low lands of 
Oropouche and some cacao on the hills. Trinidad rice is of 
exceptionally good quality, far before that we get from the East 
Indies. In the high woods abounding with giant palms, moras, 
and other huge trees, specimens of the filmy fern may be 

Passing the Eoussillac Swamp you reach Point Sable, which 
probably receives its name from the black mangrove lining the 
shores. The next headland, Point d'Or, marks an abandoned 
sugar estate, now devoted by Mr. Finlayson to coconuts. 
Beyond this is Point La Brea, so called from a Spanish word 
meaning ' pitch,' and the deposit is visible on the beach even from 
the steamer. If you find it difficult to land- — and on occasions 
the breakers and surf are pretty stiff, as they beat upon the dark 
bituminous rocks both above and below the surface of the water 
— the sturdy boatmen, who are quite accustomed to that sort of 
thing, will wade in up to their waists, hoist you out of the boat, 

!*§='§ MP. HI 


and land you high and dry, with no more fuss than if you were 
the merest infant. 

Once arrived at La Brea, you will have to foot it along a hot, 
half-sandy, half-pitchy road for over a mile before you come to the 
so-called Pitch Lake, which lies about 138 feet above the level of 
the sea. If you have an introduction to Mr. McCarthy, the 
manager of the dep6t, he will perhaps kindly place at your 
service, if he can spare it, one of his mule carts, which will be, 
to say the least, better than walking. Riding, or rather jolting, 
along in this way will have the charm of novelty, but you stand 
a chance of getting as thorough a bumping, thumping, and 
shaking in the course of your short journey as you have probably 
experienced in the whole of your previous existence. If you are 
alone you may find it tedious, but with companions it will be 
rather lively. The sight of two or three respectable, elderly, 
dignified ladies and gentlemen, behaving as if they had au 
aggravated attack of St. Vitus' Dance, is exhilarating, not to say 

Going on, you will notice an abundance of pineapples, the 
warm asphalt being particularly favourable to their growth. 
Along the road for some little distance are cashew trees, but as 
the Pitch Lake is neared these disappear, and the vegetation 
becomes more scanty. The term ' Pitch Lake ' is, in reality, a 
misnomer 5 it is by no means a lake in the ordinary sense of the 
word. The semi-solid pitch rises in patches like small ' sheep- 
backs ' or ' moutonn^es,' having gullies or fissures between them 
filled with water. The sides of these watery seams shelve 
towards each other wedge-fashion, and in the centre vary from 
two to twelve feet in breadth, and from one foot to five feet in 
depth. In the innermost part of the lake the pitch becomes 
softer, emitting an unpleasant sulphurous odour, the lightest 
footmark leaves an impression, and you will find yourself almost 
imperceptibly sinking, unless you continue constantly in motion. 
Here and there liquid pitch may be observed oozing out ; you 
may handle it with impunity — curiously it does not soil the 


fingers ; the old proverb, ' It is impossible to touch pitch without 
being defiled,' not being verified in this case. The best time to 
come to the Pitch Lake is in the early morning, while it is cool ; 
otherwise the heat of the sun is so attracted by the black ground 
as to make the whole atmosphere oppressive, and one leaves the 
place with a feeling of relief. Of course, to pay a morning visit, 
you must go to San Fernando by rail or steamer the day before, 
and take a small boat to La Brea as early as you can rise, before 
daybreak, if possible. Messrs. Wall and Sawkins, in their 
' Geological Survey of Trinidad,' estimate the lake to contain 
4,500,000 tons of asphalt. The amount exported in 1S86 was 
307,969 tons. 

A curious Indian tradition, recorded by Mr. Joseph in his 
' History,' has been handed down in connection with La Brea to 
the effect that this spot was formerly dry land, and that it was 
selected by the Chaima tribe of Indians for their village of wig- 
wams, because of the numerous pineapples, large flocks of birds, 
and abundant fish to be got hard by. When, however, these 
Chaimas wantonly destroyed the beautiful humming-birds, 
which were animated by the souls of their departed relatives, 
' The Good Spirit,' taking awful vengeance upon them for their 
impiety, in one night made the whole encampment with its sacri- 
legious inhabitants sink out of sight beneath the earth. Next 
day nothing was visible of the Chaimas or their village — not 
even a trace of them ; occupying their place was the Pitch 
Lagoon. Kingsley has neatly paraphrased the story into verse. 

When Sir Walter Raleigh visited Trinidad, he came to La 
Brea, making use of the asphalt he found to caulk his leaky 
vessels. In his despatches he alludes to the oysters he discovered 
here, adhering to the roots of mangrove trees. 

Several years ago stout old Lord Dundonald, during his com- 
mand of the West Indian station, succeeded in making water- 
pipes from the asphalt, but they proved a failure, as it was not 
till a subsequent period that it was found possible to prepare a 
composition capable of resisting atmospheric influences in that form. 


La Brea has its ward school and two churches. Do not be 
surprised if you see some of the wooden huts of the inhabitants 
not quite perpendicular — a little 'off the plumb.' This is owing 
to the shifting nature of the pitch foundation, and the good 
people do not bother themselves about it. I have heard of a 
case in which a house appeared to be gradually but unmistakably 
sinking on one side ; after a time the opposite side had its turn, 
and the domicile became as upright as the owner could wish. 

What with the sickening odour around, the intolerable heat of 
the mid-day sun overhead, and the high temperature of the 
asphalt ground, you will doubtless be glad when the time comes 
to turn your face seawards again. If you did not notice the 
' four-eyes ' fish in the shallow water when you landed, look out 
for them now, swarming almost high and dry, appearing to stare 
intently upwards, but scuttling along with the utmost speed 
when disturbed. Kingsley says he who sees ' four-eyes ' for the 
first time without laughing must be much wiser or much stupider 
than any man has a right to be. 

The Pitch Lake is leased by the Government to some in- 
dividuals in Port-of-Spain, Messrs. T. A. Finlayson, C. Stoll- 
meyer, a New York Company, and others, who export the 
asphalt to England and the States. Many large towns both in 
Europe and America have streets paved with materials from this 
district, and it was rather broadly stated a few years ago in the 
London Standard that La Brea could yield sufficient to pave all 
the streets of all the capitals in the world. 

Asphalt is also found in other parts of the island, but it seems 
to partake largely of the nature of tar. Some years ago a com- 
pany was formed for the purpose of utilizing it ; several wells 
were sunk, and I am afraid a good deal of money too, which was 
not recovered, for it was found impossible to carry on operations 
on a sufficiently economical scale to enable the promoters to com- 
pete successfully with the cheaper imported article. 

The steamer leaves La Brea to return to town about two 
o'clock in the afternoon ; in fact, there is just time to see the 


Pitch Lake comfortably, without hurrying. Of course, it is 
impossible to do La Brea and Cedros on the same day, so that if 
you intend going to the extreme south, you must defer it to 
another occasion. In view, however, of such a trip being made 
we will take up our route where we left it. 

Passing the jetty at Palm Point, where the pitch is shipped, 
the steamer crosses the Guapo Bay, towards the river and village 
and point of the same name. Sometimes the last-mentioned is 
called Point Fortin. Here, on what was formerly La Fortunes 
estate, Messrs. Meston and Co. have lately erected a dwelling- 
house and some asphalt works, calling the place Mestonville. 
Mr. Jules Rousseau is the owner of the coconut estate close by. 
Both Guapo and the adjacent district, La Brea, are considered 
unhealthy to Europeans. Many of what were flourishing sugar 
estates a century ago are now covered with a thick growth of 
bush and trees. Sportsmen hunting here have occasionally come 
suddenly upon old boilers, coppers, and other remains of factories. 
Mr. Burt, of San Fernando, has planted coconuts on what was 
the old Esperance sugar estate. Between La Brea and Cedros, the 
steamer stops at three places — Guapo (Mestonville), Capdeville 
and Irois. From Capdeville is a road running across to the south 
coast of Erin, a distance of nine miles. The dwelling you see 
from the steamer is the rest-house for travellers. Irois was 
formerly, and is still to some extent, a densely-wooded district 
with line hard timber. Much of it near the shore was cleared 
under the direction of Mr. Conrad Stollraeyer, by convict labour, 
and the fine coconuts you see were planted. Near Point Rouge, 
that owes its name to the bright red clay of which it is formed, 
is Coro mandel Settlement, then a coconut estate belonging to 
Mr. Fraser, and another village called Granville. In both these 
settlements the holdings are usually small ones, the largest being 
one of the many properties of the late Mr. Carlos Robertson, an 
African of very humble origin and absolutely no education, who 
' struck ile ' in the Caratal mines of Venezuela, and died perhaps 
the wealthiest man in the island. 


At last you come again to the land of sugar, La Retraite 
(Messrs. G. Turnbull and Co.), at Cedros Point, then St. Anne's 
large coconut estate (Mr. Borel), and St. Marie (Messrs. Turn- 
bull and Co.). The coconut cultivation is increasing enormously 
in this quarter, and it has been estimated that in the course of 
eight or ten years Cedros will produce twelve millions of nuts 
annually ! 

Clifton Hill estate in Guapo, now devoted to the minor indus- 
tries, was the scene of the curious incident so often quoted as an 
example of the extraordinary rapid and easy growth, of vege- 
tation in this island. I will give the story as related in Joseph's 

' Mr. C. Libert, the manager and proprietor of Clifton Hill 
estate, thatched a small building with cane-leaves, to some of 
which were attached the plants or upper part of the canes. To 
his astonishment from these plants sprang a quantity of healthy 
sprouts ; these actually vegetated on the top of his out-house 
without other nourishment from the earth than a little soil 
accidentally attached to the plants.' 

The principal sugar estates in the Cedros ward, besides those 
mentioned, are Beaulieu, Monplaisir (Messrs. G. Turnbull and Co.), 
Perseverance (Mr. J. Kemp Welch), Columbia (Mr. S. B. Waith), 
and I'Envieuse (Mr. John Cumming). 

On Perseverance has lately been erected a fine usine, and it has 
a good iron jetty 212 feet long. Sainte Marie is* remarkable as 
having the largest salse, or mud volcano, in Trinidad. Its mound 
covers an area of about an acre, several smaller ones surrounding 
it. The land all round is perfectly barren, yielding nothing but 
a kind of scrub known as black sage ; cultivation is out of the 
question. An eye-witness whose veracity I have no reason to 
doubt, states that some two or three years ago an eruption took 
place, during which the mud was ejected to the height of seventy 
feet. A bamboo twenty feet long thrust into the orifice will not 
reach the bottom. 

There are two new churches (Eoman Catholic and Anglican), 



both of fair size, the site for the Protestant one having been 
given by Mr. Gregor Turnbull. About four miles from the 
landing-place is Icacos, with its splendid beach twelve miles in 
length. Occasionally races are held on the sands, when excur- 
sionists flock hither from Port-of-Spain and San Fernando, and 
the scene is a lively one. Icacos, like Bande de l'Est, is a great 
coconut-growing country, Mr. F. Agostini in particular having a 
fine stretch of these productive palms on his estate, Constance. 
Some few years ago an anchor weighing 1,100 lb. was found here 
buried in the sand, and it is supposed to have been one lost by 
Columbus in 149S. In 1885 the invading army of locusts from 
Venezuela selected Cedros as a suitable landing-place, and they 
did considerable damage before they were overcome. The resi- 
dences of the magistrate (Mr. A. C. Newsam) and of Dr. C. 
Cleaver are among the best in the quarter. The high lands of 
Erin beyond Icacos are considered favourable for cacao. Before 
the prohibitive but highly necessary tax was imposed upon the 
cultivation of Ganja, a great deal was produced in Icacos. 

The rocks at Los Gallos Point have some caves that are liter- 
ally alive with sea-birds. They are not much molested, however, 
as the roughness of the sea protects them from depredations. The 
singular rock El Solclado (the Soldier), about midway between 
Trinidad and Venezuela, is also the habitat of myriads of them. 
The current here, as well as the violence of the waves, keeps off 
visitors. A gentleman told me that on one occasion he, with a 
party, went off in a sailing-boat to El Solclado. They reached 
it sure enough in four hours, and it took them three days to 
get back ! He has no inclination to repeat his visit as yet ! 



These falls, 340 feet in height, and thirteen miles distant from 
Port-of-Spain, are situated in the Maracas Valley, one of the loveliest 


districts in the island. It would be difficult for even the most 
vivid imaginative powers to conceive a landscape more approaching 
to fairyland, Paradise — anything you like that is superlatively 
beautiful — than the falls on a bright moonlight evening. It is a 
sight that will leave a lasting impression on the mind. The nearest 
railway-station at St. Joseph is about seven and a half miles away. 
You may drive nearly the whole of this distance, hiring a vehicle, if 
you choose, from a Mr. de Silva, at St. Joseph, who keeps one for 
the purpose. 

Passing some of the St. Joseph shops, we come upon the large 
Eoman Catholic church, the Government School, the Convent, and 
the savanna, where the old barracks used to be situated. 

Under the noble trees, some of them probably centuries old, the 
market is held. As we gain the top of this ascent, the northern 
range of hills, extending from west to east, are seen to advantage, 
covered as they are with verdure. Not a single bare patch is visible. 
Surely Tennyson must have had some such spot as this in his eye, 
when, in ' Enoch Arden,' he wrote : 

' The mountain wooded to the peak, the lawns, 
And winding glades high up like ways to Heaven, 
The slender coco's drooping crown of plumes, 
The lightning flash of insect and of bird, 
The lustre of the long convolvuluses 
That coiled around the stately stems.' 

Just before us is El Tucutche, the highest summit in Trinidad, 
3,012 feet above the sea-level. We shall have over and over 
again to ford what will be in some cases mere tranquil rippling 
streams, but in. others rushing torrents, which drive along, furi- 
ously going for the huge boulders disputing the way as if the 
issue were one of life and death. The winding road is full of 
natural beauties — dainty ferns and lycopodiums, majestic trees, 
covered with fantastic creepers, with here and there the glorious 
poinsettia standing out in brilliant contrast with the surrounding 

Between two or three miles from St. Joseph San Lorenzo is 



reached, a productive cacao property belonging to Mr. W. Speyer, 
a new arrival from Germany. Among other estates in the quarter 

are : 

Terra Nueva . 
Santa Pdta 
Santa Barbara 
La Florida . 
La Merchde . 
La Deseada . 
La Soledad . 
San Francisco 

Hon. C. Leotaud. 
Mrs. Lynch O'Connor. 
Misses Wehekind. 
Mr. A. V. C. Gomez. 
Mr. Caliste Thomas. 
Mr. Zepero. 
Misses Hernandez. 
Mr. Zepero. 

After the seventh fording is accomplished, the Acono road to 
Caura is reached. About three miles up this, and across numerous 
rivers, is a prettily located estate, Ortinola, belonging to Sir Charles 
Tennant, and yielding a highly profitable return. However, we are 
bound for Maracas, not Ortinola, so we resist the temptation to 
wheel, and keep straight on till, when about six miles from St. 
Joseph, we come to the Naranjo Road, with the shop and cacao 
estate mentioned in the above list as La Florida. Here we are not 
more than a mile and a half from the falls, and in the bed of the 
river, within a stone's-throw of the shop, is a warm mineral spring, 
containing traces of sulphuretted hydrogen, common salt, etc. 
The Ward School, Roman Catholic church, and the village of 
Maracas are a little beyond. 

The peasants' houses in this part of the world are simple enough, 
being constructed of mud and thatched with timit. Their habits, 
too, are on a par with their domiciles ; nightshirts being unheard-of 
luxuries, these honest folk, on retiring to rest, insert their bodies 
into empty cacao-bags, as a refuge from bats. When working in 
the plantations, they are admonished of the arrival of breakfast- 
hour at ten or eleven o'clock by the sweet sound of the horn or 
conk-shell ! 

The ISTaranjo Road is the one for the Cascade, or Chorro, as the 
Spaniards call it, but if we were to take the other one, a few miles 


would bring us to a steep bridle-path, leading to the north coast. 
Shortly before reaching'the Hon.^G. Fitt's estate, Las Cuevas, a bend 
round to the right opens out a wide expanse of view in the direction 
of Montserrat ; then in a few minutes more we are facing the broad 

If you have time and can stand a little fatigue, after seeing the 
falls at Maracas, it would be well to take this route and return by 
the Santa Cruz Valley. The landscape here is quite different to 
that in other parts of the island ; the journey can be done comfort- 
ably in three, or even two days, and the tourist would, I am sure, 
feel amply repaid for the time and labour expended on the trip. 
Las Cuevas Eay affords a safe anchorage — in fact, the best on this 
sometimes rather turbulent northern shore, being tolerably well 
sheltered by the points on either side. Here are one or two rusty 
cannon, with the remains of old forts. 

Leaving Las Cuevas, and clearing a small ridge, we have Mrs. 
A. W. O'Brien's cacao estate, Damide : then over the next ridge is 
Messrs. Ambard's Tyrico. One more surmounted, and we come to 
Maracas Bay, a fertile estate, the property of the heirs of L. A. de 
Verteuil. On a clear day it is quite possible to distinguish Grenada 
from the northern side of the Maracas Bay hill ; while on the oppo- 
site or southern side of the same ridge, an equally extensive view is 
obtained across the Caroni Savanna, far away beyond the San 
Fernando peak to La Brea. All these hills are famous hunting- 
grounds, and with three desiderata, a good fowling-piece, a guide 
(some of these peasants are keen sportsmen), and a couple or so of 
lean, half-starved, but exceedingly^knowing dogs — don't judge the 
poor brutes by their appearance — you ought to get lape, deer and 
quenck, not to mention smaller game, to your heart's content. 
Always, however, keep a weather-eye open for snakes, which are 
apt to resent any rude disturbance or interference with vested 

All this time we are neglecting the great business of our outing 
— the falls ; and we must push along, or we shall never reach the 
goal. Going back to the afore-mentioned K~aranjo Boad, the last 


mile will have to be done on ' shanks,' unless you havo a sure- 
footed animal. Ascent is very much the order of the day, and this, 
too, with that spice of danger which always adds zest to any under- 
taking. Our thoughts revert to Whittier's apropos lines in ' The 
Seeking of the Waterfall,' and truly our position is aptly described 
in them : 

' Tbey sought it where the mountain brook 
Its swift way to the valley took ; 
Along the rugged rocks they clomb, 
Their guide a thread of sound and foam, 
Height after height they slowly won ; . ; 
The fiery javelins of the sun 
Smote the bare ledge ; the tangled shade 
With rock and vine their steps delayed. 

* * * * 

Fringing the stream at every turn 
Swung low the waving fronds of fern.' 

Happily, however, our fall, unlike Whittier's, is not a phantom, and 
we shall soon be rewarded with a sight of it. Orange-trees, sweet, 
Seville and Portugal, abound here, as do their near-of-kin, shaddocks 
and limes, and I believe you can help yourself with impunity, the 
only protest coming from the stinging ants, which at all times infest 
Portugal oranges. By the way, a lime drink, or Creole lemonade, is 
one of the most refreshing beverages out, when you can get cool 
water. The Maracas water is all that could be wished in this respect ; 
no ice is needed. 

As for the cascade itself, it is far beyond my feeble strength to 
attempt a description of it. Even Kingsley, with all his graphic 
power of word-painting, preferred to borrow the words of Kruger, 
the botanist and scholar, so I may fairly do the same. , He says : 
' Here it is, opposite to you — a grand spectacle indeed ! From a 
perpendicular wall of solid rock, of more than three hundred feet, 
down rushes a stream of water, splitting in the air and producing a 
constant shower, which renders this lovely spot singularly and 
deliciously cool. Nearly the whole extent of this natural wall is 
covered with plants, among which you can easily discern numbers 


of ferns and mosses, two species of pitcairnia with beautiful red 
flowers, some aroids, various nettles, and here and there a begonia. 
. . . Below, in the midst of a never-failing drizzle, grow luxuriant 
ardisias, aroids, ferns, costas, heliconias, centropogons, hydrocofcyles, 
cy.peroids, and grasses of various genera, tradescantias and eomme- 
lynas, billbergias, and occasionally a few small rubiaceas and melas- 



These two districts lie along the north and north-east coasts of 
the island and beyond the northern range of mountains. 

If a good animal and a small modicum of endurance are 
essentials for a trip to Bande de l'Est, much more are they 
required for a trip by land to Blanchisseuse and Toco. 

Blanchisseuse can be reached by three routes : First, by Santa 
Cruz, Maracas Bay, and thence along the north coast eastwards; 
Second, by St, Joseph, Maracas Valley and across El Tucutche to 
Las Cuevas, where you join the first-mentioned road; Thud, by 
the Blanchisseuse road from Arima. 

I propose to take my readers by the second way, and return by 
Arima. Eirst of all I would recommend the traveller to see that 
his saddle is provided with a sound breast^strap and a good 
crupper, for he will find that the ascents and descents are rather 
startling, causing him to realize the ups and downs of life in 
more senses than one. 

Leaving St. Joseph, we pass up the Maracas Valley, which has 
already been described in connection with the waterfall, but 
instead of turning to the right after passing the village, we 
continue on the straight road, and soon find ourselves gradually 
ascending towards the cleft between the two peaks of Tucutche. 
The view, looking back over the Maracas Valley, through which 
we have passed, is very beautiful, especially if the bois immortel 
is in blossom. 


But the wildest, and in that sense the finest, view in Trinidad, 
perhaps even in the West Indies, is that obtained when the 
ridge of the mountain is reached. Here the traveller, after the 
peaceful and smiling valley of Maracas, suddenly sees in front of 
him, or rather not in front of him but as it appears to him, miles 
and miles directly below him, the wild and rugged north coast. 
Only one habitation is to be seen, that of Las Cuevas Estate, the 
property of the Hon. G. Fitt, the dwelling-house of which nestles 
in the midst of coconut and other trees some three miles below. 

If chimneys were the fashion in this country, you would 
expect to see down the chimney of that house, and the first thing 
that strikes the wondering traveller is, ' How in the world am I 
to get down there V However, a road there is, and a good road, 
though steep — so precipitous that if this were a ' snow ' country 
it would be almost too steep to ' toboggan ' down, notwithstand- 
ing the windings. Then there are some three miles of it, so that, 
as I have intimated, a crupper will be found useful, and, indeed, 
may prevent a ' cropper.' 

However, the foot of the hill is at last reached, and a pleasant 
ride of about half a mile through the cacao brings you to the bay 
and estate house of Las Cuevas. The bay is well sheltered, and 
from here to Blanchisseuse the road takes you alternately over 
high ridges of hills and along short pieces of beach to Blan- 
chisseuse, about three hours' ride from Las Cuevas. There are, it 
is true, several ugly places, especially when the tide is high. In 
the first place, Las Cuevas Eiver, then at a point immediately 
beyond it, and again at the Yara Biver, shortly before reaching 
Blanchisseuse. The latter crossing, though sometimes good, is occa- 
sionally quite the reverse, owing to the shifting quicksands. A 
few years ago two men, while endeavouring to ford it, were lost. 
It is proposed to open an inland crossing, where a bridge might 
be erected, and this would undoubtedly be an immense boon 
to the inhabitants. 

From Blanchisseuse to Arima the distance is about nineteen 
miles, but as the road is up and down hill throughout, it is, to 


say the least, a long nineteen miles. The greater part of the 
way leads through high woods. There is one small clearing 
with a hut, about half wa}', lying on the northern slope of the 
mountain range. From the south side of the mountain ridge 
a glimpse is seen down the Arouca Eiver valley, in the upper 
part of which lies La, Reconnaissance Estate (cacao), one of the 
oldest in the island, and the property of Lieutenant-Colonel 
La Coste. 

The first estates of any consequence that are reached are 
Verdant Vale and Willow Vale (cacao), formerly in the possession 
of Mr. C. Cleaver, but recently purchased by Mr. Aucher 

There are few prettier spots in Trinidad than these estates, 
with the clear sparkling waters of the Arima Eiver rushing 
through them, and the large basins hollowed out of the rocks in 
the shadiest nooks, as though Dame Nature had adapted them 
for her bathing-places, or intended them for the sportive dryads 
and naiads. 

Other estates in the neighbourhood are Mrs. Wade's, Wattley's 
Isabelle Estate, etc. There is no finer mountain ride in the 
island than this to Blanchisseuse vid Tucutche and back by Arima, 
or vice versd, and it need not take more than three days. 

But a far longer and more difficult journey is that along the 
north coast from Blanchisseuse to Toco (fifty-six miles), and 
thence back to Arima by Balandra Bay and Matura. Leaving 
Blanchisseuse village, and its Roman Catholic Church, police- 
station, government school, and neat little houses, we pass several 
cacao estates belonging to various owners — Mr. Penco, Mr. D. 
Etienne and others, and Belle Vue (Mr. Goodwin Eooth). 

Six miles in an eastward direction brings us to the Paria 
Eiver, which formerly divided Blanchisseuse from Toco ; it has 
been recently decided that the boundary shall be Madame River, 
which we pass a little farther on. Paria Estate is the property 
of Mr. F. D. Etienne; others in the locality are those of Messrs. 
Alex. Louis, William Dalzell and Juan Escallier. Next, Tacarib 


is reached, where are more fine estates belonging to Messrs. St. 
Jago Lasardo, Louis Delcon and Adriana Skerret. 

Arrived at Matelot, we are about half way between Blan- 
chisseuse and Toco. Here a police-station has lately been estab- 
lished, and still more recently a government school. Then a river 
enjoying the suggestive name of Shark's River presents itself 
before us. The cluster of rocklets at its mouth is known as 
Les Frhres. The greater portion of the land hereabouts is culti- 
vated by Marco Eoudon and his children, most industrious folk, 
who will, without a doubt, in a short time own a large and 
flourishing property. We next come to the Valley of Grande 
Eiviere, or Eio Grande, where are several valuable estates chiefly 
belonging to Messrs. 0. Fabien and Jos. Penco. Here, also, is a 
police-station, a point of interest to the weary traveller, for he 
may pause a while, if he will, and rest his bones. Sans Souci, a 
few miles beyond in Toco Bay, has also its police-station, and 
two capital estates of Messrs. C. Fabien and Goodwin Eooth. 
After the little village of Trois Eoches, in less than an hour we 
are at Toco, the most important place in the quarter. Toco and 
Matura have been recently constructed a separate ward union, 
with a resident warden and magistrate (Mr. J. A. Eedhead). 
Before this Matura was joined to the Arima ward; I should think 
the magistrate (Mr. L. P. Pierre) must rejoice at this change, 
which was not made a moment too soon. 

At Toco we are six miles from Point Galera, the north-eastern 
extremity of the island. An image of the Virgin has been placed 
in a recess of the rock at the point. We shall not, however, see 
it, for we take a short cut across the peninsula to Cumana, where 
is the estate of the same name, belonging to Mrs. C. Pantin. 
We have now a very good bridle-path leading alternately over 
mountain ridges and along the beach. A couple of old cannon 
lie on the sand at Cumana, relics, I suppose, of the Spanish 
occupation, while one or two chimneys and some remains of 
machinery near by tell of long-abandoned sugar estates. 

The mouth of the Tompire Eiver is, at high water, sometimes 


rather difficult and dangerous to cross; an inside road, however, 
which only lengthens the journey very slightly, leads to a bridge 
over the river. 

The next places of interest are Balandra ■ Bay and Point 
Tabateau. The bay is well sheltered with a beautiful beach, and 
the little peninsula forming the point offers a delightful spot for 
a residence. Excellent fish are obtainable all round these coasts, 
though of course due precautions must be taken in the neighbour- 
hood of the rocks. A considerable portion of Crown land here 
was purchased a few years ago by Mr. Guilbert, who is clearing 
away rapidly, and planting it as a coco-nut estate. When this 
part of the island becomes fully settled, Balandra Bay should be 
the port for shipping. 

Salibia (Saline) Bay and Biver are soon after reached. The 
latter can generally be forded at the beach; if not, there is a punt 
by which animals can be conveyed across. 

After going for some distance, chiefly along the beach, the 
road turns inland, crossing the river to Matura. From Toco we 
have had a good five hours' ride, and we have nearly the same 
distance before us to Arimia, that is to say, about twenty-three 
miles. Matura is a growing village, with a police-station and 
Roman Catholic Church. In the neighbourhood are some good 
cacao estates, notably those of Mr. Vito Larns and Mr. Gray ; 
while nearer the Oropouche Biver are the valuable properties of 
Mrs. Devenish and the Farfan family. The ford at the Oro- 
pouche is quite passable, and most of the other rivers are 
bridged over. The road is a good one, falling into the eastern 
main road at Valencia, six miles from Arima. 



We will suppose that the traveller desirous of having a peep at the 
south-eastern quarter of the island has made the journey as light as 


possible, by going the full extent of the railway to Princes' Town. 
We will therefore start with him from this place, proceeding due 
east, in the direction of Mayaro, for about three miles, until we 
observe on the right a tolerably-wide road, diverging to the south, 
which is nothing more nor less than the much-dreaded (in the wet 
season) main road to Moruga. 

However, being far too wide awake to attempt it in any but the 
dry season, we are all right, and, for about three or four miles, we 
pass through lands known as the ' American Settlements,' cultivated 
in some instances fairly well in cacao and coffee, but more frequently 
in ground provisions. A short spell through high -woods is 
followed by about two miles of cultivation, this time almost 
entirely cacao. What is perhaps of more immediate interest to us 
is the rest-house, a very welcome haven of repose, especially after 
several hours of jogging along under a tropical sun. Since we have 
taken the wise precaution of warning the good folk in charge as 
to the hour we might be expected, they are duly on the qui vine, 
and the table, invitingly spread, intimates to us, if we needed any 
such reminder, that ' Nature abhors a vacuum.' 

Refreshed, we bid the rest-house au revoir, when a distance of a 
mile brings us to virgin forest (in the wet season, too, it would 
pretty quickly bring us into mud and grief) ! As it is, we have a 
delightful ride of about ten miles through ever-changing groves, 
dodging the gigantic lianes, and sniffing the delicious perfumes 
wafted forth by the vanilla, and some of the fragrant flowering 
trees, such as roble, bois lisette, etc. 

When five miles from Moruga, a clearing in the wood shows us a 
carat-roofed house surrounded by a patch of guinea grass. This is 
the property of the West India and Panama Telegraph Company, 
who keep it up for the use of their foreman and labourers employed 
here periodically in clearing the line of 'bush,' etc. Not far from 
it is a remarkable deposit of pitch or asphalt, discovered accidentally 
about sixteen years ago by a hunter named Brown. It comprises 
an area of 130 acres, the whole being somewhat elevated. The 
pitch appears to issue from two principal vents or streams, which 

MORUGA. ■ 221 

meet, the accumulation being greatest at the point of connection. 
No notice seems to have been taken of this discovery by the 
authorities, but some five or six years ago this same hunter revisited 
the spot, taking with him the Eev. W. Williams, of San Fernando, 
and Captain Torrens, who was at that time staying here. On a 
hill about half a mile distant from the vents is a curious little lake 
with apparently no outlet, the water being dark in colour and of a 
brackish flavour. 

The rich virgin forest land between the Telegraph House and 
Moruga offers a fine field to the speculator, being well adapted to 
the growth of coffee, nutmeg, and, in fact, almost any tropical 
product. When within a mile of the village we get once more into 
cacao, the largest property in the quarter being Henry Estate. 
Here one's nose, if at all keen, begins to be susceptible of marine 

A picturesque police-station and two chapels are the principal 
features of the village, which is composed besides of about fifty or 
sixty small houses covered, like the Telegraph House, with carat. 

Taking Moruga village as a centre, the cultivation may be said to 
fringe the coast in either direction, without going to any consider- 
able depth inland. The soil, a sandy loam, is as good perhaps 
as any in Trinidad, cacao and coconuts flourishing and bearing 
abundant crops. 

There are three fairly large cacao estates in Moruga, but the 
majority of the properties are small holdings, the" peasant owners of 
which are not notorious for their energy or ambition. 

The only time that these honest folk do display anything 
approaching an excitement is when the Abb6 of Princes' Town puts 
in an appearance to celebrate Mass, etc. On these rare occasions 
the cutlass and hoe are laid aside, smiling faces and Sunday gar- 
ments are donned, and everything is en fete until the worthy Padre 
turns his back on them again. 

Plenty of good fish is to be had in the ocean near by, for the 
trouble of catching, but, as is commonly the case, very few bother 
themselves about it. The salt water, too, looks delightfully cool 


and inviting, but not so to the cautious Morugan, who tells blood 
curdling stories of the hungry and voracious instincts of the shark 
and barracouta. Let us hope he has some other means of performing 
his ablutions, but I am afraid, water being almost as scarce as gold 
in the dry season, that this is somewhat doubtful. 

At certain times in the year fever is occasionally prevalent in 
Moruga, but this is assuredly far from being an unhealthy locality. 
It is true that the village is unfavourably situated, being low, and 
to the leeward of the mouths of the Moruga and Moroquite 

A weekly steamer to these parts would undoubtedly be a boon to 
the inhabitants, but it must be confessed they have not hitherto 
exhibited any great anxiety for it. If such a stride were made, 
the rich lands before alluded to, near the coast, would soon be 
purchased, and put under cultivation. Let us hope that the day is 
not far distant when some enterprising firm will take the matter in 

Thanks to Sir W. Eobinson, bridges are to be erected across the 
Moruga and Moroquite rivers. Hitherto the means of crossing 
these have been always unsatisfactory and sometimes positively 

The village of La Lune lies about three miles from Moruga, but 
' the inhabitants of the moon' are, if possible, more humdrum and 
apathetic than their neighbours. Can the name be responsible for ' 
this 1 Somebody has said ' those who live in the moon must be 
lunatics !' Be this as it may, the road between Princes' Town and 
Moruga is at length receiving some attention at head-quarters ; a 
good round sum is put down on the road estimates for the present 
year, so that in all probability the good Morugans of the future, 
finding themselves suddenly within easy reach of civilization, will 
wake up one morning from their lethargy, and show an amount of 
latent vigour and energy that will astonish even themselves. 




One of the smaller steamers of Messrs. Turnbull Stewart and 
Co. leaves Port-of-Spain for the islands daily (except Sunday), but 
it does not always go as far as Monos. Reference must be made 
to the table given towards the end of this book to ascertain the 
day and hour of starting. 

These islands are to us in Trinidad what Brighton, Hastings, 
and other watering-places are to ' home-folk.' Havens, where 
Paterfamilias, throwing black care to the winds, and oblivious of 
fusty ledgers, or official memoranda, may indulge in the dolce far 
nienie which he has fairly earned. Given a holiday even of only 
a few days' duration, there is nothing like clearing out, bag and 
baggage, from A. to Z., and betaking one's self ' far from the mad- 
ding crowd.' It is true that at our islands we have a paucity of 
the joys and attractions of the seaside at home — no nigger min- 
strels nor peripatetic pianos, not even German bands — but we 
have glorious sea-breezes and bathing galore, and we may hope 
to gain for the time being an absolute cessation of the toils and 
troubles of this weary world. Here the much-beworried mamma 
will get a short respite from the ever-recurring bothers of house- 
hold cares ; the small fry will be in a heaven of enjoyment (and 
dirt) from morning until night; and as for the pater, with his 
fishing-rod, gun and budget of literature, so long as the commis- 
sariat holds out, he ought to be as happy as a king. 
' We have several rocky islets between Port-of-Spain and the 
broad Atlantic, most of them having one or more houses upon 
them. These houses are furnished roughly, and may be hired at 
the rate of forty dollars a month, or about 5s. 6d. a day. You 
must stock yourself with eatables, though the fishermen will bring 
you choice, delicate fish, far nicer because fresher than you can 


obtain in town. Better still, if you have cultivated the gentle 
art, you may catch for yourself. 

Leaving the Queen's wharf near the news-room, you steam 
down in the little 'Ant,' passing the custom-house, bonded 
warehouse, Messrs. C. L. Haley and Co.'s ice dep6t and Messrs. 
Turnbull Stewart's offices. Port-of-Spain, as a town, does not 
show off to advantage when viewed from the gulf, as it lies too 
low, but the general effect is good, for the buildings look very 
picturesque, half-hidden by, and peeping out from, the abundant 
foliage and tree-growth, the verdure-clad hills behind making a 
prominent background to the picture. The chimney to the left 
points out the nearest sugar estate to town — Woodbrook. For 
many years only the common or muscovado kind was made here, 
but lately a usine has been erected for the manufacture of crys- 
tallized sugar. Further on you pass the St. James' barracks. 
Peru Village is lost among the trees, but a little beyond is the 
Cocorite Leper Asylum, while beyond, on the hill, 1,120 feet high, is 
the Fort George signal-station. Here the man in charge keeps an 
eye on the signals of the North Post station, and transmits them 
by the same code to Port-of-Spain. 

Five miles from town you reach the first of the ' Five Islands,' 
Pelican, a mere islet, but still large enough to have a comfortable 
house and good bathing-place. The other four are known by the 
names of Caledonia, Lenegan's, BocJc and Neilson's. Caledonia, 
originally called Marlin-spike Hall, has close by Craig Island, at 
one time part and parcel of it, but which, having been detached 
by the action of the waves, has deserted its mother and set up a 
house on its own account. Rock is used as a quarantine dep6t ; 
in case vessels arrive from infected ports, the first-class passengers 
are detained on this island till all danger of contagion is past. A 
yellow flag intimates that communication with Rock is not allowed. 
Stevenson's, or Neilson's, is the largest of the five, and is now a 
sanatorium for Indian immigrants, who, on their arrival, remain 
here pending their allotment to the several estates. 

The 'Ant' will call at Carenage (nearly every West Indian 


Island has its ' Carenage ' or harbour), where is the large property 
of the Tucker Valley company. Close to the little jetty is the 
Roman Catholic Church, a stone building of neat appearance, in 
the erection of which the inhabitants gave in labour alone the sum 
of $3,000. 

Can-eras, formerly Lang Island, is one mile from the Five Islands, 
at the entrance of the Chaguaramas* Bay. On its rocky summit 
stands an imposing and substantial prison for fifty-six prisoners 
and the staff, who are engaged in quarrying stone and breaking 
road metal, about 7,000 tons of which are produced annually. Flats 
are continually conveying ' metal ' from this_ dep6t to the various 
bays round the coast-line for road-making purposes. 

Creteau Island, formerly Begorrat, is only a short distance from 
Gasparillo or Gaspar Grande. The latter is a mile long and half a 
mile in breadth, having several houses built on it. Numerous 
historic events are associated with it. In 1799 four Spanish men- 
of-war were sunk close to the east end of the island by Admiral 
Apodoca, to prevent them falling into the hands of the English 
conquerors. Half a century later, an enterprising Yankee .saw a 
chance of raising the almighty dollar out of this mishap. Accord- 
ingly, in 1856 an American schooner, the 'Silver Key,' arriving 
with diving apparatus, proceeded to explore that portion of the 
deep. They found many articles, amongst which were two guns, 
purchased from them by Governor Elliott for $300, and placed 
outside the Government buildings. Near Bomb Shell Bay on the 
hill are the remains of a fort where a portion of the troops were 
garrisoned immediately after the British occupation in 1798. 
Formerly Gasparillo was cultivated in cotton ; it had also two 
whaling stations, now abandoned. There are some curious lime- 
stone caves, containing singular petrifactions and swarming with 
vampire bats, which may be explored at low water. Chaguaramas 
peninsula has been converted into an island by an artificial channel 
known as 'Hart's Cut.' It is proposed to construct a patent slip 
here, and the promoter, Mr. H. Cadiz, thoroughly deserves support, 
~ The Aboriginal and Spanish name of the 'Palmiste.' 



for it is a scheme which, properly conceived and carried out, would 
doubtless be of great benefit to the colony. 

Of the three islands beyond Gasparillo, Monos (apes) and Hitevos 
(eggs), are the property of the Borough Council of Port-of-Spain. 
The narrow passage between Mono 5 and the mother island is 
used by sloops, schooners, or steamers ; there is plenty of water 
but little breadth. Monos has good water, several roomy houses, 
and capital bays for bathing, but the cultivation is not so good as 
it might be, since it is infested with parasol ants. One of Kings- 
ley's 'At Last' heroes, Mr. Morrison, is still to the fore, though 
a little more weather-beaten than in the days when Kingsley 
dubbed him the ' much-wandering Ulysses.' 

Monos being the utmost limit of the ' Ant's ' voyages, if you have 
any desire to explore further you must engage a boat. I know of 
no better guide than Mr. Morrison if you can secure his services. 
He will pilot you to the celebrated cave at Huevos, in whose dark 
recesses the Guacharo or Diablotin, bird of night, is to be met with 
by the hundred. The cave is rather difficult of access, as the 
rocky entrance is small, and the sea at times very rough, but you 
should not fail to make the attempt. "When with some difficulty 
I had got inside, it was some time before I could see, all around 
seemed so intensely dark. At length I faintly distinguished some 
dark objects flitting overhead, and fired at them instinctively. 
Immediately a screeching of voices and rustling of wings burst 
forth with a deafening and bewildering din that reminded one of 
Milton's Pandemonium, and it was several minutes before the up- 
roar subsided. The Guacharo (Steatornis caripensis) is a species of 
goatsucker, and it is esteemed a superlative luxury by the Trinidad 
gourmand, but I must confess it is rather too greasy and unctuous 
for my untrained palate. Besides this cave there are others in- 
habited by a curious variety of fishing bat ; towards dusk, these 
bats fly about in numbers, catching their prey, the small fish, with 
the greatest adroitness. 

Chacachacare, divided from Monos by the Boca de Navios (ship's 
passage), and from the mainland of South America by the Grand 


Boca, was, in slavery times, a great cotton-growing district. Un- 
like Monos and Huevos, which are municipal properties, a good 
part of this island belongs to private individuals, the remainder 
being Crown lands. The soil is generally fertile, producing vege- 
tables and fruits in quantities, especially sugar-apples and melons. 
Guinea grass too is abundant, being used instead of the palm for 
thatching purposes. Alum has been found here, as also in Monos. 
The island is in the form of a horse-shoe, and it is very hilly, the 
hills sloping down to the interior of the horse-shoe. On the 
northern side they are more precipitous, descending abruptly to 
the Caribbean Sea. At the junction of the two arms of the horse- 
shoe the land suddenly becomes quite flat and marshy — indeed, at 
spring-tides or in rough weather the sea is said sometimes to pass 
completely over the isthmus. Boats can be hauled from the still 
water on the east to La Tinta Bay on the west. This curious bay 
is named from the colour of the sand, which, being black, causes 
the water to resemble ink. In spite of this, it is beautifully clear. 
One looks straight across the Boca Grande to the Venezuelan 
mountains, which, though eight miles off, seem nearer, so clear is 
the atmosphere on a fine day. To landward the bay is fringed by 
a belt of the deadly manchineel trees. Tall cerei and aloes cover 
the cliffs : the towering spikes of the latter, some fifteen to twenty 
feet high, with their masses of bright yellow blossom, form a very 
imposing sight in the early part of the year. 

On the southern shore of Chacachacare is a pebbly beach called 
Bande de Sud. Inside this and surrounded by bush is a stagnant 
lagoon of salt water. Formerly the natives attempted to extract 
salt from this, but the idea seems now to have been abandoned. 
Judging from the abominable stench which emanates from the 
place even when passing in a boat at some distance, one cannot 
be sorry that this 'minor industry' has been given up, or that the 
useful condiment is no longer obtained there. 

A stone pier and large house for a sanatorium have lately been 
erected on the island by Dr. Chittenden, and there can be no 
doubt but that the spot is well chosen. A purer, healthier atmo- 



sphere could not be desired. Fish is abundant in quantity and 
excellent in quality, and it is to be got for the trouble of catch- 
ing. Some day Trinidadians will learn the value of Chacachacare. 
On the opposite side of the Grand Boca, and quite near to the 
Spanish Main, is Patos, or ' Goose ' Island, one of the smallest of 
her Majesty's possessions, but which on occasions has been a 
Naboth's vineyard to our Venezuelan neighbours. 



As these people number in Trinidad probably not less than 60,000, 
comprising about one-third of the population of the island, it may 
be well to give a brief sketch of them, looking a little below the 
surface at the influences which control them, and the social con- 
ditions under which they exist. This will be the more essential, 
since English people, and, indeed, Europeans generally, unless they 
are brought into immediate contact with them, know next to 
nothing about them. They may be classed as Hindus, Moham- 
medans and Christians. The Hindus form by far the largest 
section, and for their religion they lay claim to a very great 
antiquity, their chronology running back to the remote ages of 
millions of years ago. Time with them is divided into four epochs 
— the Golden, Silvern, Brazen and Iron epochs, each one 432,000 
years longer than the preceding one. Thus : 

The Iron or present Vug, of which 5,000") Years. 

years have already passed, will be of > 432,000 

duration ..... I 

The preceding or Brazen Yug lasted . . 864,000 

The Silvern Yug lasted .... 1,296,000 

The Golden Yug „ .... 1,728,000 

Total number of years 




The Hindus divide the voluminous masses of their Shastras into 
eighteen parts, asserting that they contain eighteen distinct kinds of 
knowledge. To the first class of these belong the four Vedas, 
which the Brahmans believe to be as old as eternity itself. They 
consist of two principal parts : 

I. The Muntras, a compilation of hymns and prayers, written 

in poetry, between 1500 and 1000 B.C. The Hindu 
race was then in its childhood, and the form of worship 
■very simple. 

II. The Brahmana, a collection of doctrines and precepts, 

detailing an endless number of ceremonies to be per- 
formed by the priest, the ascetic, and the hermit at their 
religious services. These were prose writings of about 
700 B.C., and mark the era of Brahmanical sacerdotalism. 
The meaning of the term Veda is ' knowledge ;' the four books 
were respectively the Rig, Yajush, Sama, and Atharva Vedas, and 
they bore here and there some faint resemblance to the Holy 
Scriptures. In this sugar-growing colony it may be interesting 
to note that the Rig Veda, one of the oldest writings in the world, 
makes mention of the sugar-cane. 

Brahmanism, with its elaborate system of priesthood, castes, and 
mystic rites, only attained its full sacerdotal force about 700 years 
before the Christian era. Of all the castes the Brahman is pre- 
eminent ; the lower ones in their order are : 

Kshatriya. — Principal families and military. 

Vaisiya. — Persons engaged in commercial and agricultural 

Sudra. — Servants. 
These classes are capable of an almost infinite number of sub- 
divisions or grades — as for example the Chamars or workers in 
leather, who are esteemed the lowest of the Sudras, since they 
mutilate the hide of the sacred ox. Some are thought so Tin- 
worthy as not to be admitted into even the meanest of the above 
classes — such are called pariahs or outcasts. The distinctions are 
not easily defined by the uninitiated, but they are none the less 


carefully observed, and the smallest infringement is a deadly sin. 
Different castes ought not to intermarry, and should hold scarcely 
the slightest intercourse one -with the other, a degree of exclusive- 
ness which the haughty Brahmans carry to such an excess that the 
mere shadow of a Sudra cast upon their food will contaminate 
it. The two high castes, Brahman and Ksliatriya, have special 
privileges. They wear the sacred thread or cord over the shoulder, 
with the bead obtained from the plant Tulsi, and may also be made 
acquainted with the cabalistic name of the deity Aum or Om 
(Jehovah or Jah). These rites, very like those of Egypt in the 
days of Abraham, separate the upper from the lower ranks of 
India much more than social position or the influence acquired 
from wealth could do. The Sudra is kept in as menial a condition 
as possible, being denied most of the rites pertaining to marriage, 
burial, etc. ; and while he is graciously permitted to contribute from 
his hard-earned savings to the support of the temple, he may on 
no account enter it. 

After the era of Brahmanical sacerdotalism a reaction set in. 
About 600 B.C., Freethinkers arose, who questioned the authority of 
the Brahmans, and the virtue of the blood of beasts. Buddhism 
was a manifestation of this feeling, which, though it developed 
a wonderful morality, was wanting in backbone, being built upon a 
foundation of Atheism. As its teachings were antagonistic to caste 
prejudices, and therefore threatening to the sway of the all- 
powerful Brahmans, the latter persecuted the Buddhists whenever 
and wherever they could, but, nevertheless, cunningly accommo- 
dated themselves to the new religion by absorbing many of its 
most attractive tenets into their elastic creed. Buddhism in this 
way had a modifying influence upon the older faith. This was the 
age of philosophy. 

Upwards of a century after the reaction just alluded to 
another series of sacred books appeared, known as the Shastras. 
These were six in number, and they regulated the Hindu laws as 
to property, caste, religion and customs. They were probably 
written between 500 and 400. b.c. 


The Hindus had tried Nature-worship and sacrifice, which they 
called the way of Works ; they had tested the efficacy of philosophy 
or the way of Knowledge ; some had tried Atheistic Morality ; 
many hedged in life, duty and dogma hy Laws ; but none of 
these brought rest, so a new movement began, and here comes 
in for the first time the doctrine of Incarnation. 

The Supreme is regarded as taking form — coming down to man. 
Hence gods, with human attributes and shape, were multiplied, 
and it began to be taught that faith in and devotion to some 
of these was the road to eternal bliss. This was called the way of 
Faith. The great epic poems of India contributed to this move- 
ment, and the eighteen Puranas were written to give it Divine 
authority. None of them appeared previous to 800 a.d. Through- 
out all the sacred books, but particularly in the Puranas, there 
is the theory of a triple manifestation of Deity, or a Trinity, 
thus : 

Brahma, the Creator \ 

Vishnu, the Preserver > A11 evolved from Beahm the 

Shiva, the Destroyer ' Supreme. 

Brahma, the Creator of the universe, is usually represented in the 
form of a man with four faces, the symbols of omniscience, and 
riding on a goose. He is, like Saturn, sometimes called the ' Grand- 
father of the gods f but in other passages the Shastras term him the 
' Pather of lies.' On the whole the Hindus do not seem to feel 
very much respect for their grandfather, for in no part of India is a 
temple of Brahma to be seen ; only on certain occasions do they 
make an image of him for worship. Among the gods he is an 
object of contempt and ridicule on account of his .profligacy. 
Eevelling and drunkenness being not uncommon amongst the gods, 
it follows as a natural consequence that with their worshippers 
drunkenness is no vice. 

The second person in the Hindu triad, Vishnu, became incar- 
nate — 

(1) As a fish, to save the Vedas. 


(2) As a tortoise, to support th9 earth, which was in danger 

of sinking into chaos ; hence the Hindus believe to 
this day that the earth rests on the back of a tor- 

(3) As a boar, to draw the earth out of mud and water with 

his tusks. 

(4) As a lion-man, to destroy a monster who was devastating 

the earth. 

(5) As a dwarf. 

(6) As a giant. 

(7) As Earn. j These two incarnations are universally wor- 

(8) As Krishna. J shipped throughout Hindustan. 

(9) As Buddha. 

The tenth and last incarnation is still looked for by the Hindus, 
who are ignorant as to the form it will assume. 

The philosophy of our coolies in this colony is substantially that 
which their forefathers adopted some 2,500 years ago in the philo- 
sophic age ; their theology, or rather mythology, is that of the 
Puranas of much more modern date. It must be acknowledged that 
the Puranas are a mass of contradiction, extravagance, and idolatry, 
though couched in highly poetical language. It is, nevertheless, 
astonishing how familiar the Trinidadian coolies are with them ; 
even amongst the humble labourers who till our fields there is a 
considerable knowledge of them, and you may often in the evening, 
work being done, see and hear a group of coolies crouching down 
in a semicircle, chanting whole stanzas of the epic poems, Bamayan, 
etc. In the preface of the Bamayan it is stated that he who con- 
stantly hears and sings this poem will obtain the highest bliss here- 
after, and become as one of the gods. Hence the wily Babagee who 
reads to his ignorant countrymen accounts from the Bamayan, or 
'Book of the Exploits of Earn,' expects to get, and is tolerably 
sure of receiving, a large offertory for his pains. 

There is no doubt that Hindus coming to colonies like Trinidad, 
far away from the land of their birth, would fain lessen the burden 
of caste ; but this they neither dare nor can do. Anyone losiDg his 


caste becomes a pariah, or outcast, and the mere fact of crossing the 
ocean plunges any man, whether Brahman or Sudra, into depths of 
degradation, though the relative distance between them remains the 
- same. 

This is an important point, for there is a general impression 
that the Brahman and the Sudra (I merely take these by way of 
example) sink to the same level, which is by no means the case. 
They fall an equal distance, but the one still continues to be 
immeasurably the superior of the other. In the case of our agri- 
cultural labourer, ' the sceptre of the maharaja Brahmin,' as a 
writer cleverly puts it, ' dwindles to the insignificance of a hoe- 
handle ;' but, all the same, he has a certain dignity to keep up, and 
he looks, poor as he may be, with haughty disdain upon his inferiors 
in caste. 

The Brahmanical priests, or Babagees, who are wise in their 
generation, foster and encourage this feeling. Many a heathen 
coolie here, having served his term of indenture, works as a free 
labourer, saves a little cash, buys a small property, or starts shop- 
keeping, and in time becomes a rich man, socially raised above his 
former fellows. Yet, if a Chamar, he remains such. Wealth may 
secure regal luxuries and win royal favours, but it cannot change 
plebeian into royal blood. The Babagee, or Sadhu (holy man), 
however, delights to frequent and bless his house, and of course to 
receive his gifts. Although the wealthy Sudra may not, as such, 
partake of the mystic rites, nor can he be admitted to the higher 
caste, the Brahman is crafty enough to natter him with a spurious 
sort of initiation, in which be is invested with the fragment of Tulsi, 
and is told the sacred word. I need hardly say that the victim pays 
for this through the nose. The genuine Sadhu in India either leads 
an anchorite life in woods and caves, or he joins a community of 
similar men. This being out of the question in Trinidad, often 
when a labourer becomes a Sadhu he takes to Ganja, spends his 
time in idleness, and lives at the expense of his deluded country- 
men, whom he does not forget to fleece. A few years ago, in this 
very island, one of these false prophets, having taught his misguided 


countrymen that caste could be recovered by payment, except when 
the fatal error of turning Christian had been committed, actually 
made thousands of dollars by investing -with the 'cord.' He got as 
much as he could out of the unfortunate people, and — 'skedaddled.' 

Amongst other rites, there is an annual one affected by the 
Madras people, viz., ' passing through the fire.' The oldest priests, 
with their most fervent disciples, all nearly naked, pass repeatedly 
to and fro over smouldering ashes, shouting and gesticulating vehe- 
mently meanwhile. This they do quite publicly, even preferring 
spectators to privacy. All the same, they bitterly resent anything 
approaching to ridicule or interference ; and, being worked up at 
such times to an almost incredible pitch of frenzied excitement, a 
collision would be fraught with tbe most unpleasant consequences. 
' The feasts, which are very common, are generally in honour of some 
god, and all who attend them and partake of the things sacrificed are 
supposed to do honour to some deity in whose name the feast is held. 
One of the South Indian gods, named Madrivele, had the marvellous 
faculty of entering houses through the smallest crevice ; he used to 
display an inordinate fondness for fowls and rum, and he would help 
himself freely to these at all times. Hence, in the sacrificing to 
Madrivele, the eating of chickens and the drinking of copious liba- 
tions of rum play an important part. In Trinidad this passing 
through the fire is held in an open space right in front of the 
Anglican chapel dedicated to St. Agnes, and the obscenity dis- 
played, the vile language and uproar, remind one of pandemonium. 
In India, if what we hear be true, the horrid ' fire-passing ' ceremony 
has been prohibited by the Government. It is not at all observed 
by the Hindus of Northern India, but, on the contrary, is repu- 
diated by them. The rite is doubtless similar to that mentioned and 
condemned in the Old Testament. 

One of the Hindu doctrines is the ' transmigration of souls.' 
The Hindu lives, has lived, and will live through all time, in some 
animal form or other. This partly accounts for his horror of mutila- 
tion, as the loss of a limb during one life may involve the same 
misfortune in the succeeding one. 


The Mussulman's religion is one of faith and practice. Their 
creed may be embodied in the one great precept kept ever before 
them, ' There is but one God, and Mohammed is His prophet.' 
Their religion of practice comprises several duties, of which the most 
important is prayer. Five times a day, with his face turned towards 
Mecca, he must bow down to Allah (God), uttering the words 
'Allah Ahbar ' (God is great). Morning, noon, afternoon, evening, 
and night, no excuse can be admitted for the neglect of it ; time, 
place, business, pleasure, are as nothing in comparison with God's 
unalterable command, ' Pray.' Other duties are cleanliness, fre- 
quent ablutions, the giving of alms to the poor, and rigid abstention 
from wine and all strong drink. In Trinidad, as in India, many of 
these people become renegades to their creed, solely for the sake of 
being able to drink and sell rum, and it must be borne in mind that, 
with the Coolie, who will not partake of proper nourishing food 
when he has to pay for it himself, to drink rum is to become 
a drunken, besotted beast. With regard to the first duty of 
prayer, and, in fact, all the duties, Mussulmans in Trinidad soon 
grow lax and careless ; but I have, nevertheless, frequently seen 
on an estate a devout follower of the Prophet leave his work to 
face the rising sun, profoundly salaam, utter his formula, and then 
proceed with his labour as though no interruption had occurred. 

The two chief Mussulman sects are the Shiahs and the Sunnis. 
The former especially reverence Hassan and Hosein, the two sons 
of Ali, in whose honour are their greatest festivals, and to celebrate 
the events of whose lives they even perform mysteries, or passion 
plays, in Persia. The Sunnis, for their part, do not reverence them, 
but merely recognise them as holy men. Both sects anticipate the 
coming of a great 'Mahdi,' who will set right all wrongs and 
restore peace and happiness to the universe ; but the Sunnis expect 
him more as a conqueror than a peacemaker. Knowing this, it is 
easy to understand the infatuation and adoration of the Mussul- 
mans in the Soudan for their ' Mahdi.' No wonder poor Gordon 
was so anxious to ' smash ' him. 

Much importance is attached by the Coolies to the yearly 


festival of the ' Mohurran,' or, as it is better known here, the 
' Hosein.' The ' Ashura,' or last day of the Mohurran, is, above 
all, held in the greatest respect by the Shiahs, as it is intended to 
commemorate the death of Hosein, the son of Fatlma and Ali. 
The Sunnis do not believe in the ' Hosein,' and five or six years ago 
the chief of the sect in Trinidad petitioned the Government to put 
down the Taziya procession, on the ground that it was an insult to 
their religion, having on several occasions led to riot and murder, 
and that at the best it was but a foolish ceremony. By way 
of explanation, I may here remark that the Coolies make Taziya, 
houses of cardboard ornamented with tinsel and coloured paper, 
modelled to represent the tomb of Hosein, and, placing these in 
carts or on the heads of men, march about with them, beating tom- 
toms and shouting ' Hosein.' Each estate has its Taziya, jealously 
guarded by the labourers who have helped, either by subscription 
or otherwise, to construct it. All the estates in the same locality 
join together, and form up in procession, sometimes serious quarrels 
and fights taking place at this stage of the proceedings. Having 
paraded for some time, with dancing, cries of 'Hosein, Hassan,' 
etc., they at length repair to the sea, if practicable — if not, to the 
nearest body of water — and, throwing their Taziyas into it, the cere- 
mony is ended. 

The Government did not accede to the petition of the Sunnis 
referred to above, but placed certain restrictions upon the festival. 
These new regulations being highly unpalatable, and looked upon 
by the Orientals as an infringement of their privileges, riots ensued, 
which were promptly suppressed, though unfortunately not without 
loss of life. For some time the relations between the Indian immi- 
grants and the authorities were of a very strained nature, but happily 
things have righted themselves, and for the last few years the 
' Hosein ' has passed off in a most orderly manner. It will be seen 
that this is essentially a Mohammedan festival, that it is confined 
to a very small section of the faithful, and that the Hindus have 
nothing in the world to do with it. Nevertheless, either because 
it affords them an excuse for a holiday, and therefore for unlimited 


rum-drinking, or perhaps from sheer ignorance, they join in it with 
as much zest and earnestness as if it bore a religious significance to 

Physically, the Coolie is well shaped, with regular features, wiry, 
though not over-muscular, and possessing considerable powers of 
endurance. He is frugal and saving to a fault, living on the 
plainest and coarsest of diet, often denying himself sufficient even 
of this fare to gratify his love of hoarding. The Coolies, though 
mostly labourers and small shopkeepers, yet managed to deposit in 
the Government Savings Bank the sum of £49,254 during the year 
] 887. It is a significant fact that at the close of the preceding 
year, 830 labourers, presumably most of them Coolies, managed to 
have at their credit in the San Fernando Branch Savings Bank no 
less a sum than £18,311. What a lesson in thrift ! 

But even these figures by no means fully represent the wealth of 
this section of the population. Many of them look upon the 
banks with the greatest suspicion, and prefer to conceal their hard- 
earned gains in hollow trees or in holes in the ground, keeping at 
times the secret of their hiding-place so closely that it is often 
buried with its owner. Now and then an Oriental will withdraw 
all or a great part of his deposit from the Treasury without in the 
least requiring it, but simply to satisfy his uneasy mind that it is 
safe. In spite of this, however, they place much more confidence 
in the ' Queen's Bank,' as they term it, than in any other. In their 
simple manner they reason — ' He good da Queen's side, spose any 
^ man go tief um money, God sabby help um, — Queen must gi' um ' 
Every year some take their departure for the land of their birth 
with the view of enjoying their savings among their relatives, but 
frequently finding no trace of either family or friends, jor perhaps 
being coldly received, they re- emigrate to Trinidad, and start a 
little shop, or buy a patch of land. In 1887 upwards of 678 
returned to India, taking with them the sum of £12,065 in bills 
and specie, besides gold and silver ornaments which they were 
wearing to the value of another £1,000, and £200 in gold which 
they had entrusted to the Surgeon Superintendent for safe-keeping. 


Fancy the wife of an English, peasant having a dozen silver bangles, 
or a beautiful and valuable necklace of gold coins ! The thing is 
incongruous, and as difficult to imagine as it is unlikely, and yet 
it is a common occurrence with these people. No less a sum than 
£2,000 was remitted in 1887 by immigrants to their friends in 
India. As a friend of mine smartly puts it in an unpublished 
essay, ' Coolies have three gods, L., S. and D., which they worship in 
a variety of forms. One method they have of amassing wealth is 
by usury; 10 per cent, for a month, or in reality 120 per cent, per 
annum, is the moderate rate of interest asked where the security is 
faulty.' In 1887, there arrived from India 2,015 immigrants, of 
whom 266 had originally emigrated to this or other sugar-producing 
colonies, saved a little money, gone hack to their own country, and 
had now once more returned to the West. Of these 33 paid their 
passage-money in Calcutta, 32 paid the immigration agent in 
India to have it refunded to them on landing, and 11 more paid on 
arrival here. During the same year two immigrants returned to 
India per Eoyal Mail, paying second-class fare, over £50 ; and yet 
these are men of the labouring class ! As another instance of their 
thrift, I may mention that in 1853 a Coolie named Moolchan was 
indentured as a labourer on the St. Madeleine Estate ; in 1878 he 
died a respectable and respected merchant of Port-of-Spain, leaving 
effects to the value of $60,000. This is no exceptional case; I 
know at this moment two Coolies who, commencing some years ago 
as indentured labourers, are now worth fully double the sum just 
named. Within the last decade, and for two or three years in 
succession, the principal events in the annual races were taken by 
horses belonging to two well-to-do Indians. 

The Immigration system was started in Trinidad about forty years 
ago. With it are closely connected the well-known names of Charles 
Warner, W. H. Burnley and John Losh, all now gone over to the 
majority, but who, by their earnest and eloquent advocacy, over- 
came the opposition to a step which has doubtless saved this colony 
from irretrievable ruin. 

The ship ' Eatel Eosack,' which brought the first batch of Coolies 


to the number of 219, arrived on the 30th of May, 1845. During 
the earliest three years of the system, 5,162 immigrants -were 
introduced. As the importation of these (some of them were 
Chinese) was found to be a costly undertaking, a few years later, 
in 1850 and 1853, the colony, taking advantage of an Imperial Act 
guaranteeing certain loans to the "West Indian Colonies, borrowed 
,£125,000 from the Consolidated Fund for the purpose of promoting 
the introduction into this colony of free labourers. 

The Coolies are bound for five years, receiving meanwhile free 
lodgings, medicine and medical attendance, with twenty-five cents 
per day wages. Stringent regulations are issued and insisted upon 
by the Government as to the accommodation provided for them 
whether sick or well ; and if either houses or hospitals are found to 
be in any way deficient, the planter is mulcted in heavy penalties. 
The Immigration Offices are situated near those of the Public 
Works in Edward Street, on the site once occupied by the 
Commissariat. The present head of the Department is the Hon. 
C. Mitchell, son of Dr. Mitchell, C.M.G., who for many yeaTS filled 
the post, and whom the Coolies still lovingly term ' Papa ' Mitchell. 
At first, immigrants who completed an industrial residence of ten 
years were granted ten acres of Crown land ; then this was changed 
to a grant of five acres with a bonus of £5 ; now they receive 

Certainly these people live a happier and more prosperous life 
here than they could possibly do in their own country. Mark 
the difference between a new arrival and an old stager — the former 
timid, cringing, almost servile in manner ; the latter erect, keen, 
with an air semi-respectful, semi-defiant, viewing with an amused 
look the profound salaam of the new-comer. 

I have stated that by the Koran the Mussulman is prohibited from 
indulging in strong drink. It is unlikely that many in Trinidad 
forsake the religion of their forefathers from no better motive than 
to gratify their craving for alcohol. Years ago, when a youngster, 
I remember seeing a pictorial sketch in Punch entitled ' Accommo- 
dating.' An officer is seated in his bungalow, enjoying the dolce 



far niente of military life in India. Addressing his native body- 
servant who stands near : — ' What caste are you, Bamsammee V 
Native : ' Same church like Sahib ; me eat beef and drink brandy, 
sar !' To him Christianity and grog-drinking were unfortunately 
synonymous terms. 

After all, coolies are much like other people : treat them properly 
and they -will serve you well — always, however, with an eye to the 
main chance ; but is not human nature the same all the world over ? 

When the Indian takes to Ganja and opium smoking, as he too 
often does, bis faculties become dulled, his constitution enervated, 
he is unfitted for work, and not being willing or able to take 
nourishing food, he becomes an easy prey to disease. 

The preponderance of males over the opposite sex leads not 
seldom to unpleasant complications. The coolie husband is of a 
frantically jealous disposition, and any real or fancied unfaithfulness 
on the part of his spouse he visits with condign punishment. Three- 
fourths of the murders in this colony may be traced to this cause. 
Hitherto the immigrant found no redress in a Court of Justice 
when his wife proved unfaithful. Eecently two convictions have 
been secured, the offenders being respectively sentenced to six 
months, and two years, with hard labour, so that we may perhaps 
anticipate less frequent use of their favourite weapon, the cutlass. 
In this matter the public are indebted to His Honour the Chief 
Justice. The women are rather below the average height, and 
from having to undertake the onerous duties of wifehood and 
maternity at a tender age, when most English girls would be 
wearing short frocks, and withal being perpetually treated as the 
' worse' half, they become prematurely old, so that at thirty they 
are often absolutely haggard and aged in appearance.. As a rule 
they dress becomingly and decently, generally exhibiting taste in 
the arrangement and harmony of colours. A favourite ornament 
with them is a gold ring passed through their nostrils. They wear, 
too, any amount of silver bangles on their arms, toes and ankles, 
with necklets of gold round their necks, and a gold band across the 


A Babagee in easy circumstances may be recognised by the 
conspicuous whiteness and amplitude of the embroidery trimming 
about bis costume. His voluminous Jcapra takes more the form 
of pyjamas, reaching nearly to his feet, while that of the low-class 
Indian is much more contracted. 

If you ask a Trinidad immigrant where he hails from, his reply 
will be either Calcutta of Madras. This, however, merely implies 
that he has embarked from one or other of these ports ; he may in 
reality be from the Punjaub, Nepaul or elsewhere. 

These people dearly love litigation in any form, and you may 
always see a number of them hanging round the Courts and lawyers' 
offices as though they had some great interest at stake. Even if 
not in the slightest degree concerned in a case, they will spend 
hours listening to the evidence, perhaps not understanding a single 
word of it. 

The evangelizing missions among them have done much to raise 
them from their degrading superstitions and prejudices — in fact, 
it is hardly possible to over-estimate the amount of good done, 
more especially by the missionaries of the Canadian Presbyterian 
Church. In this they have been very greatly assisted by the lead- 
ing proprietors, Messrs. C. Tennant and Sons, John Cumming, W. 
H. Burnley, Gregor Turnbull, Lamont, and the Colonial Company, 
who, being all large employers of labour, contribute annually liberal 
sums towards the np-keep of these missions. 

Before closing this chapter it may be well to give one or two 
marks by which a Hindu is to be distinguished from a Moham- 
medan. The former almost invariably shaves under the chin and 
buttons his upper garment or chapkan on the left side ; the latter 
fastens it on the right side, and abjuring the razor, delights in a 
flowing beard such as the great Prophet had. At dinner parties, 
too, while the Hindus sit in rows, the Mussulmans arrange them- 
selves in circles. 





During the Spanish occupation very little heed was paid to educa- 
tion. Now and then the illustrious Board of Cabildo made a 
feeble effort to do something, as for instance in 1760, when they 
appointed a schoolmaster to instruct the children, regulating the 
payment for his services as follows : 

Teaching alphabet \ real per month. 

„ reading . 1 ., 

„ writing and arithmetic . 1| ,, „ 

The emoluments attached to this office could scarcely be considered 
remunerative, seeing that a real was equivalent to about ten cents 
only of our money. 

In 1823, the great Sir Ealph "Woodford being then Governor, a 
school on Dr. Bell's Madras or monitorial system was started by 
the Cabildo. In 1834, shortly after the passing of the Emanci- 
pation Act, schools were established by the ' Lady Mico ' Eund, 
and three years later one for the gratuitous education of the poor, 
including a normal branch, was opened in Port-of-Spain by the 
assistance of the same charity. These steps led to the setting on 
foot of similar institutions by the Roman Catholic and Anglican 

Nothing, however, approaching a system of public instruction 
was in existence until the time of Lord Harris. The predecessor 
of that Governor, Sir H. McLeod, had perceived the great need of 
some public action in the matter ; but to Lord Harris is due the 
credit of the institution of a really national scheme of education — 
a scheme which, unfortunately, was for many years but indifferently 
worked, and consequently failed to realize all the results which 
might have been expected from it. It is, nevertheless, the basis 
and foundation of our public education, and it is to it that we 
owe the present excellence of our schools. 


Lord Harris established an unsectarian board at the head of an 
undenominational system of education ; but this, not satisfying all 
classes of the community, in 1869 Governor Sir A. Gordon pro- 
cured the appointment of a commissioner, Mr. (now Sir) P. J. 
Keenan, who reported strongly in favour of the substitution of a 
denominational system. Public opinion, however, did not support 
this, and a compromise was effected by which the Board of Educa- 
tion was reconstructed on a denominational basis, and a system of 
aided schools proposed to be instituted side by side with the 
Government (State) schools. This scheme failed in securing the 
establishment of any such schools, although one in Port-of-Spain 
was aided nominally under it. As the promoters of denominational 
teaching were determined, if possible, to secure their object, Sir H. 
Irving in 1875 yielded to them, and as a result his scheme in 1876 
granted aid to a number of denominational schools which had pre- 
viously been in existence unaided, and the subsidies granted to 
these naturally encouraged the rapid creation of. others. 

On the 30th June, 1887, there were under inspection fifty-seven 
Government schools, with 6,859 pupils, and sixty-nine assisted, 
with 7,431 scholars, giving a total of 126 schools, affording instruc- 
tion to 14,290 pupils. 

All these are examined annually by the Inspector of Schools, 
the pupils having to pass certain standards as at home, results 
fees being given according to the measure of success attained. 
As is to be expected, where the population is of such a hetero- 
geneous nature, the standard is somewhat lower than that in 
England, indeed it is hardly fair to make any comparison. 
Speaking from experience, I can truly say a teacher's life ' is not a 
happy one.' If he has an elementary school the chances are that 
half of his pupils, perhaps even a larger proportion, never hear a 
word of English in their homes. Patois may prevail, Erench, 
Spanish, Hindostani, or Chinese — anything rather than English. 
This is not so much the case in the larger towns, but it must still 
be acknowledged that the teacher is handicapped, and that heavily. 
I am inclined to think that if the Government exhibited the same 


degree of liberality towards the lower schools as towards the 
colleges, better results would be gained. Certainly the majority 
of elementary teachers are miserably underpaid, and hence only 
persons of inferior calibre can as a rule be induced to enter the 
profession. To borrow the Inspector's words : ' The policy of 
the department has always been one of economy and retrench- 
ment wherever practicable. ... A decline in the efficiency 
of the service must be the consequence if reduction is carried to 
any great extent, particularly in face of a growing population, and 
a steadily increasing school attendance.' After twenty-five years' 
experience as a dominie I can fully endorse the above remark. 

In consequence of the liberal exhibitions and scholarships open 
every year to deserving pupils of elementary schools no matter of 
what nationality or creed, ' the humblest peasant,' to quote again 
from a report of the Inspector of Schools, ' may aspire to a college 
course at Cambridge or elsewhere free of expense, and enter as a 
candidate for the Civil Service of India. The advantages offered to 
boys by our educational system are hardly surpassed in the world. 
... It may indeed be said that the highest positions in the 
British Empire to which mental acquirements are a passport are 
opened to the poorest boy in Trinidad by the educational advan- 
tages at his command.' 

Queen's Eotal College. 

The Prince's Buildirig, a part of which does duty as the Queen's 
Royal College, is a large cruciform-shaped structure standing in the 
little Savanna, near the Queen's Park and blue tram route. It was 
hastily erected in 1861, during Governor "Walker's time, when it 
was anticipated that H.E.H. the Duke of Edinburgh was about to 
visit this colony. Unfortunately, the intended visit never came off. 
The large hall is now used for entertainments and public balls, 
while the smaller one serves as a college. It is not ill-adapted for 
this, but as the gaieties and festivities which take place in the hall 
cause frequent and undesirable interruptions in the school routine, 


it is a thousand pities that a proper suitable building has not been 

The college was founded in 1863 by Governor Keate, and was 
then termed the Queen's Collegiate School, having been formed on 
the model of the Queen's Colleges in Ireland. Subsequently in 
1870 its name was changed by Sir Arthur Gordon to that it now 
bears. It is a Government institution, being therefore purely 
unsectarian, and is under the control of a council appointed by 
the Governor. The principal, Mr. W. Miles, B.A., formerly of 
Uppingham School, is assisted by Mr. E. G. Bushe, B.A., Mr. C. 
Bishop, and Mr. J, E. Marquez. The Eoyal College has always 
borne a good reputation, many of its pupils having gained high 
honours. In 1884, for instance, one of the senior boys, named 
Falconer, took the ■ Gilchrist scholarship (open to all the West 
Indies, and an honour greatly coveted), and would have stood" 
next to the first in the London University matriculation list. 
Pour exhibitions of £150 each, tenable for three years, are open 
to competitors from this college and from that of the Immaculate 
Conception which is affiliated to it. 

The College of the Immaculate Conception. 

This is a large and commodious block of buildings, situated in 
Kent and Clarence Streets, near the blue tram route ; it is furnished 
with a gymnasium, a rarity in Trinidad. The career of this insti- 
tution has been a prosperous one. Founded in 1863 with sixty- 
nine pupils by the priests of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost, 
and of the Holy Heart of Mary, it has now 212. The scholars 
wear a neat uniform (dark blue) with gold facings, similar to those 
in the Pensions of France. They have a good brass band, which 
is augmented on high days and holidays by ex-pupils who were 
musicians in their schoolda3's. There is a fine theatre or lecture 
hall suitable for public entertainments. The principal is the Eev. 
.Father Brown, and many of his pupils, like those of the sister 
college, have distinguished themselves. Mention has already been 


made of the exhibitions of £150 a year open to both colleges. 
The Government contributes £1,000 a year to the support of this 

The Bolivar College 

faces the Queen's Park, and is on the blue tram route (near the 
Colonial Hospital). It is on quite a different footing to the two 
above-named ones, being in no way connected with the Govern- 
ment, and is chiefly intended for the education of the children of 
Venezuelan residents in this colony, in fact, receiving some pecu- 
niary support from the Venezuelan authorities. The instruction is 
chiefly in the Spanish language, English being taught, like Irene!), 
as a foreign tongue. The director, Professor Sederstromg, is an able 
man, and the school seems to be well managed. The pupils have a 
brass band, and wear a neat blue uniform with silver lace facings. 

The Convent of St. Joseph, 

almost opposite the College of Immaculate Conception in Kent Street, 
has two entrances, one in the street just named, the other in Cum- 
berland Street. This convent, founded in 1836, is devoted to the 
education of girls of the better classes, who wear neat uniform 
dresses, ■with different coloured sashes and ribbons to distinguish 
their grade or standing in the school. For many years this was the 
only high-class seminary for girls in the town. There are in all 
about thirty nuns, some of whom act as teachers of the lower 
schools in different parts of Port-of-Spain and the suburbs. The 
grounds are pretty, and well arranged. Adjacent is the residence 
of His Grace the Archbishop of Port-of-Spain, the Most Eev. Dr. 
J. L. H. Gonin. 

The Model Schools, 

in Tranquillity, neaT the red tram route, are comparatively new 
buildings of concrete, in two blocks, for the girls and boys respec- 
tively, with separate residences for the superintendent of eich. 
Accommodation is also provided for a limited number of resident 


normal students, who go through, a three years' course of training 
preparatory to taking charge of country schools. There are about 
220 pupils in the boys' department, and almost as many in the 
girls'. The superintendents, Mr. J. H. Collens and Mrs. G. F. 
Bowen, are both teachers from home, of considerable experience, 
and their schools rank highest among the elementary schools. The 
boys have lately started a drum and fife band, which is progressing 
fairly. Although these institutions are examined annually accord- 
ing to the requirements of the Board of Education, no results fees 
are received by them as in the Government schools, and their cur- 
riculum is much more comprehensive, including French, Spanish, 
and (with the boys) algebra and mensuration. 

Other Schools. 

There are several other well-conducted schools in Port-of-Spain, 
among which may be mentioned : 

Eastern School . . Market Street . Mr. C. L. Boland. 

Tragarete Boad Miss Lawrence. 

Queen's Park . Mr. Nelson. 

Park Street . Mr. J. Desuze. 

Chacon Street . Mr. C. C. Smith. 

Kent Street . Miss Alexander. 

Western School . 
LaventilU School . 
St. Thomas, B. C. 
Holy Trinity, C. E. 
St. Rose Normal, B. C. 

The Borough Council of Port-of-Spain contributes £500 an- 
nually towards the upkeep of the first two schools on the above 
list. Of the numerous private schools, the best are those of Mr. 
Peiialosa, iu Cumberland Street, for boys ; of Miss Buncle, in 
Tranquillity, and Miss ISTothnagel, in Clarence Street, for girls ; 
and of Mrs. F. F. Lynch, in Hanover Street, for young children. 

The Inspector of Schools, Mr. B. J. Lechmere Guppy, who is 
of long standing in the Government service, throws a large amount 
of energy into the working of his department. He is well known 
amongst men of science as a geologist and conchologist, and his 
valuable collection of specimens is probably the best in the West 




Probably ' King ' Sugar has, at any rate in the West Indies, made 
and marred more fortunes than any other commodity ever produced. 
A cloud has for some years overhung the horizon, and it seems as 
if the halcyon days are gone for good, when the year's balance 
of profits to the planter ran to five figures. It is hoped, and 
indeed believed, that this backbone of the colony has seen its 
worst, for the outlook is, beyond all doubt, infinitely more 
promising than it has been for some time past. The crop of last 
season was the largest ever known, exceeding 87,000 hogsheads, 
and although this was disposed of in the market at a wretchedly 
unremunerative rate, the prices have since gone up in a most 
cheering manner. It is an ill wind that blows nobody good, and 
the failure of the beet crop, coupled with the attitude of the 
Bounty Conference, may help us to see our way out of the wood. 
During the year 1887, Demerara Crystals have increased 33 per 
cent., and Muscovado nearly 50 per cent, in price, so that although 
beet sugar has similarly run up, the coming crop being deficient 
(thanks to the aforesaid ill wind), West Indian planters may take 
heart of grace, especially if the iniquitous bounty system be 

Should the late severe and trying crisis have been the means of 
impressing upon the plantocracy (the word is not used offensively) 
the stern necessity of working by a system based upon the strictest 
economy, and at the same time manufacturing an -article that 
cannot be beaten or even rivalled, in other words getting the 
maximum value at the minimum cost, then the lesson, though 
bitter, will not have been in vain. 

The first sugar estate in this island was established in 1787 by 
M. de Lapeyrouse. In the course of a century the export has gone 
up from nil to nearly 70,000 tons — a colossal stride. 

SUGAR. 251 

There are now several flue usiDes or factories for the manufacture 
of crystallized sugar in this island, that of St. Madeleine, belonging 
to the Colonial Company, being conducted on the largest scale. 
It is reached either by cab from San Fernando, or by the 
Cipero tram, which passes within easy distance. Brechin Castle, 
Waterloo, Frederick and St. Augustin are each of them good samples, 
but the first two mentioned are a little out of the way. Frederick 
and St. Augustin are the most accessible of any in the island, 
Frederick being close to the Caroni station, and the other one only 
a short distance from Tunapuna — about ten minutes' walk. I have 
seen them both working, but as Frederick is perhaps the easiest of 
all to get at, I will venture to describe how the process of sugar- 
making is conducted there, as it appears to an outsider, who has no 
practical knowledge of it. 

I recollect in an ancient cookery-book of my mother's,- amongst 
sundry and divers articles of culinary lore, was one ' How to cook 
a hare,' commencing with the sage and not altogether unprofitable 
advice, ' First catch your hare !' Please apply this, and consider 
the sugar-canes caught, that is, brought to the mill-yard of Frederick. 
Here they are led by the cane-carrier — which struck me as being of 
usual leDgth, ninety feet (St. Avguslin is even ten feet longer) — 
to the mill. 

This mill has, I understand, a slower motion than is generally 
adopted, making only one revolution per minute. The crushed 
cane, or megass, as it is technically termed, is carried up an incline or 
elevator, and dropped into a small truck on wheels. A couple of 
coolies easily move this truck, loaded as it is, along a tram-line to 
the neighbourhood of the megass-house, where by a simple but 
ingenious contrivance the sides of the truck open, and the contents 
are emptied. This struck me as being certainly an admirable 
arrangement, for without the aid of some such useful appliance, as 
I was informed by the manager, twenty men would be required to 
do the same amount of work in equal time. The juice, on leaving 
the mill, passes through strainers, and is pumped into clarifiers, 
from which it is run down to the copper-wall or evaporating pan, 


where it is boiled into a syrup of fifteen to eighteen Beaume 
(density). From the copper-wall the syrup is conducted into 
a cylindrical vessel called a Montjus, which, as a rule, contains 
about 800 gallons. It remains here, at the discretion of the pan- 
boiler, perhaps two, perhaps six, even twelve hours, being after- 
wards conveyed through copper pipes into a tank, and from thence 
into the vacuum-pan. 

These pans are of various capacity, some of greater, some of less, 
but I am told that the particular one we are now examining makes 
a strike of nine tons of Massecuite sugar at a time, and that it 
is capable of turning out from nine to ten hogsheads per day. 
Peeping through the eyeglass of the pan at the surging, seething, 
spluttering liquid within, it suggested the idea of a huge kettle, 
and it truly looked as uncanny as the veritable witches' cauldron of 
Macbeth. After this 'bubble, bubble, toil and trouble' has been 
going on for some time, the liquid becomes transmogrified into 
something approaching to a solid, and when the pan is full, its 
contents are pitched into large boxes, from which it is shovelled 
into the pug-mills. These supply the iron centrifugal baskets, 
lined inside with perforated copper, or wire gauze. On these being 
put in motion, the sugar is whirled round and round at the almost 
incredible speed of 1,200 or 1,300 revolutions per minute. This 
machine, for which I have an unbounded respect, is known as 
'Weston's Patent,' and is considered by the knowing to be the best 
of its kind. The object of the dizzy whirling is to separate the 
crystallized matter from the syrup or so-called molasses, and I 
do not hesitate to say that it does its work effectually. No wonder 
that after a very few minutes of the whirligig business, the machine 
is stopped, and the helpless matter inside caves in, having had 
quite enough of it, and collapses to the bottom — Sugar ! 

A brass funnel in the centre of the basket being lifted, down 
goes the sugar, either into trays or upon a continuous belt, which 
will deposit it in bunks, where it has time to cool. Nothing then 
remains but the packing away in bags, and the sale or shipment. 

Such is the manufacture of No. 2 quality of sugar, but if while 

SUGAR. 253 

it is in the centrifugals one or two pints of water are applied, it 
loses its colour, and then becomes No. 1. 

The syrup or molasses separated from the sugar by the centri- 
fugal force is pumped into tanks, then mixed with water to a less 
density and reboiled in the vacuum-pan, becoming when turned out 
a third quality of sugar, known as molasses sugar, or jSTo. 3. 

"Whatever syrup is expelled during the last process is invariably 
mixed with the scum or refuse, and it is far from being pleasant 
either to the visual or olfactory organs. Let us see what is done 
with it. 

Water being added, it is pumped into huge vats, containing from 
two to four thousand gallons. After being allowed to ferment, it is 
run into the distillery, boiled to reduce it to a vapour, which 
is transferred to a retort, and passed through a copper or pewter 
coil placed in a tank. A constant supply of cold water in the tank 
condenses the vapour, which runs off in the shape of the spirit 
dear to the hearts, or rather the palates, of too many of the lower 
classes of Trinidad — Bum. 

Even now there is still a balance of refuse, which, of course, 
must not be wasted, so it is just put back into one of the earlier 
stages, along with some more stuff of the same delightful kind, and 
the process is repeated ad lib. Most vacuum-pan estates, owing to 
the state of the rum market, export their molasses to the French 
colonies, where it is converted into rum, shipped to France, and, 
after a little cunning manipulation, it reappears in the West Indies 
under a new name as brandy or cognac. Not a little of it goes to 
assist in the manufacture of so-called genuine claTet, in which the 
logwood-tree plays a more important part than the vine. 

The buildings at Frederick were designed and erected, and the 
machinery put together, by Mr. H. A. Green, one of the most 
experienced engineers in the colony. They are 240 feet in length, 
and 160 feet in breadth, the chimney being 150 feet high. The 
whole structure is very far from being the unsightly mass a factory 
so often seems to be, the glass window and green jalousies alter- 
nating with pleasing effect. 


The machinery, by Messrs. A. and W. Smith, of Glasgow, appears 
to my uninitiated eye to be in splendid working order. The cane- 
engine is of about thirty-five horse-power, and T am told that it is 
possible to make 2,400 gallons of juice per hour. The hospital for 
sick indentured labourers is a large, airy building. 

I may add that the proprietors and managers of every estate in 
Trinidad will, I am sure, welcome any stranger anxious to see how 
sugar is made, affording him every facility thereto ; and Messrs. G. 
Tumbull and Co., the owners, with Mr. Huggins, the manager of 
Frederidc, are no exceptions to this ruie. 

Before closing this chapter, it may be well to say a few words 
about what is called here the common process, used in the manu- 
facture of Muscovado sugar. This method is as old as the hills, 
and is very much the same as that just described, up to the point 
where the juice is run from the clarifiers into the copper-wall. 
Once in the latter, it is simply boiled till it becomes sugar ; of 
course it does not crystallize in the copper-wall ; from this it is 
passed into boxes either of wood or iron, called coolers. Sometimes 
the juice, after being boiled to a thin syrup, is run out of the 
copper-wall into the Montjus, elevated into syrup tanks, and from 
thence into a steam-pan, where it boils at a very high temperature 
for nearly half an hour, after which the liquor passes as before 
into the coolers. In these it remains until it hardens, when it 
is put into barrels, and the molasses having run off, it is ready for 

Of late, in Trinidad, a practice long known in Barbados has been 
introduced. After the liquid leaves the copper-wall, instead of 
running into coolers as in the common process, it is discharged into 
an oscillator, or semi-cylindrical box, which has in it lengthwise a 
shaft of wood or iron, with arms extending from it. The shaft is 
made to turn steadily, at the rate of seven revolutions per minute, 
thereby stirring about the liquid inside. The latter runs into 
coolers, and next into centrifugals ; the molasses being so expelled, 
the residuum is dry sugar of excellent quality. This is known 
as the Oscillator Centrifugal system, and it is in operation at 

SUGAR. 255 

Inverness, in Naparima, where it was first tried ; Mon Disk, in 
Oropouche ; and at Woodford Lodge, Chaguanas. Its use is rapidly- 

A description, weak and faulty as it must assuredly appear to the 
initiated, having heen given of the sugar-making process, particu- 
larly as conducted at Frederick, I cannot close this chapter without 
attempting at least a brief sketch of the magnificent works of 
St. Madeleine. At a distance of about four miles from San Fernando, 
in the heart of the Ifaparima sugar district, is the finest usine in 
the West Indies ; and I believe I am not far wrong in asserting that, 
with one exception, it is the largest central factory of the kind in 
the world ! Clustering around this busy hive aTe some of the 
Colonial Company's best estates : 

Petit Morne and Corinth .... 1,718 acres 

Cedar Hill, Woodford Dale, and Woodlands . 1,444 „ 
Union Hall and Les Efforts . . . 890 „ 
Golconda ....... 267 ,, 

Besides the canes of the above estates, the usine grinds those of 
Ne Plus Ultra, which is let out in allotments, Marbella, and some 

When a stranger, during crop season, enters the busy mill-yard, 
with its network of railway lines — a sort of miniature Clapham 
Junction in its way — its lively little locomotives, ' Kit,' ' Dart,' and 
other members of the family, hurrying in with any amount of noisy 
bustle from all sides, with their burden of canes in tow — I repeat, 
when a visitor sees all this display of energy and commotion, it 
becomes somewhat difficult for him to realize for the moment that 
we are still struggling through hard times which have caused many 
a West Indian planter and merchant to cast a rueful eye at his 

Here we see seven of these small but powerful ' Puffing Billies,' 
six being constantly on the go during the busy period, with 104 
clean, strongly-built trucks, carrying six tons eacb, for the transport 
of the canes from the different estates to the central factory. 


Inside the yard itself are over 1"5 miles of rail, and tlie seven- 
teen offshoots cover a distance of 18'58 miles, irrespective of the 
Cipero and Usine St. Madeleine main lines. In all there may be 
said to be 24-08, or over twenty-four miles of lines, railway gauge 
(4 ft. 8-J- in.), belonging to the company and converging towards the 

Here too, apart from the serious business of sugar-making, are 
shops where turning, fitting, and smiths' operations are carried on, 
so that any breakdown of the machinery may be promptly and 
effectually remedied without loss of time. 

It must be always borne in mind that I am writing this chapter 
as an ignoramus. Who is it says 

' Fools rush in where angels fear to tread ' — 

a remark painfully applicable to my case 1 I can only say that on 
my first sight of the interior of these works I was impressed with 
the appearance of things. The ponderous mills, gigantic fly-wheel, 
twenty-five feet in diameter, vacuum and refrigerating pumps, sup- 
plied, I believe, by Messrs. G. Fletcher and Co., of London, all in 
apple-pie order, are models of perfection — the mill engines working 
up to 300 horse-power, and actually each turning out nearly two 
tons of sugar per hour. Besides the thirteen megass-burning 
boilers of 90 to 100 horse-power, fitted with ' Marie ' furnaces, 
there are two large compound boilers heated by coal. 

Another thing that catches the eye is the admirable lifting appara- 
tus in every part of the building, especially the four sets of hoisting 
gear, by which weights of twelve or fifteen tons can be handled by 
a couple of men with the greatest facility, as though it were mere 
child's play. 

There are three vacuum-pans, each with its separate engine ; two 
large 30 horse-power refrigerating engines for condensation; four 
feed-pumps for supplying boilers with water ; six eliminators ; two 
blow-ups for defecating molasses; and a large complement of filters, 
with multitudinous other appliances for extracting every particle of 
feculent matter from the cane-juice. The four vessels (triple effets), 

SUGAR. 257 

in place of the usual copper-walls, 'worked by a powerful engine, are 
used for rapidly concentrating the juice from its original density to 
1,150 and 1,200 s.g. The absence of syrup-tanks is a noticeable 
feature in this factory, rapid concentration being the order of the 
day. Of others, there are sixteen wheel-tanks for first jet masse- 
cuite sugar, and thirty-six for second jet molasses massecuite, not 
to omit one — a colossus among his fellows — of 150,000 gallons 
capacity for third jet sugar, the total capacity for third jet being 
250,000 gallons. 

A whole regiment of lamps, formed up in review order, show that 
the interior of the main building, 360 feet in length, is illuminated 
by this means. For the mills, the megass platform, and the cane- 
yard outside, however, we have Siemen's electric light, and it is 
necessary ; for here there are twenty-four hours to the working-day, 
and duriDg the stirring time of ' crop ' there is absolutely no cessa- 
tion of labour from one minute past twelve on Monday morning to 
midnight on Saturday. 

Speaking again from an outsider's point of view, the manager 
seems to have been attempting to reduce the system to something 
like working order. So far as the practical part of the work goes, 
every man, from A to Z, has his task to perform, and, what is infi- 
nitely more to the purpose, he does it. There is not a scrap per- 
ceptible of that listlessness and sleepiness one sometimes meets with 
in the cane-piece and mill. 'Sharp's the word and quick's the 
motion, or you'll be helped along,' is the prevailing motto. In the 
office are returns enumerating all the minutia? relative to the expen- 
diture and results of the factory, and the expenditure and produce 
of each distinct estate for some years back, and posted up to date. 
With a system so complete, it is next door to impossible for the 
slightest flaw or weak point to escape detection. 

In a severe crisis like the present, an institution with such rami- 
fications must have fallen into hopeless insolvency but for the 
putting into force measures of the strictest economy and the cautious 
introduction of the newest appliances. It is, therefore, interesting 
to note that the percentage of sugar extracted from canes has 



increased from about 7 per cent, in 1874, the first year of the usine, 
to almost 10 per cent, iu 1887, a percentage altogether unequalled 
in the West Indies. Coupled with this significant fact is one not 
less important — the cost of production has been reduced by over 60 
per cent, j for, whereas only 25 tons of sugar were made per day 
in 1875, in 1886 the average was 65 tons per da}', while the fac- 
tory has actually turned out 78 tons per clay, a notable increase, 
brought about without augmenting the number of hands. 

The close of the preceding sentence has suggested the propriety — 
though it may be considered out of place — of making a few remarks 
upon the ' labour ' question. Iu addition to the low price of sugar, 
one of the most serious hindrances all over the island to anything 
like good results is the scarcity of labour, for the cost of production 
is entirely ruled, at any rate in this county, by the labour supply. 
It is all very well for outsiders to say there is a sufficiency ; no one 
but the unfortunate wearer knows where the shoe really pinches, 
and he, poor wretch ! finds it out to his cost. In England and the 
thickly-populated parts of America this difficulty is rarely, if ever, 
experienced ; should there be auy demand at all, it is mainly for 
particular kinds of skilled labour, and then it is only called into a 
very temporary and evanescent existence, perhaps to satisfy one of 
the freaks of fashion. 

So far, then, it appears as if coolie immigration is the only source 
to which the planter must look, and it must be acknowledged it is 
a costly one. The expense of bringing a coolie into the colony is, 
on an average, £5 per annum ; but if we take into consideration 
the indirect and incidental items in connection with the hospital, 
nurse for the children, who must of course be cared for while the 
parents are working, etc., the sum is increased to between £Q and 
£7 per effective. 

An attempt to mitigate the evil was made in 1S86 by the intro- 
duction of free Barbadians. I use the term free as opposed to 
indentured. The result has been an unqualified success. Fully 
ninety per cent, of these imported 'Eadians stuck to their work, 
and are to this day handling the hoe and shovel with considerable 


effect. These men cost only about £1 per head, so that if Barbados 
could but give us a continuous supply of such material the problem 
would be at once solved. 

Unfortunately, however, she is not in a position to do anything 
like this, so we are driven back to our old resource, coolie immigra- 
tion, unless, indeed, we turned our attention still farther East, and 
relieved China of some of her overplus of population. ~ And why 
not ? Than John Chinaman there is no more intelligent labourer 
to be had in the tropics, and he is a born gardener. It will be said 
that the experiment has been tried already — that the 'Heathen 
Chinee ' has been weighed in the balance and found wanting. 
It may be. In that case, it is useless to cry out against coolie 
immigration, until a substitute can be brought forward. At this 
stage I will leave the further solution of the knotty point to abler 
heads than mine. I am not competent to handle the question, but 
I think I have said enough, though I trust not more than sufficient, 
to show my readers, who may be strangers, how the colony is 

I had omitted to notice the refrigerators — the huge skeleton-box 
arrangements — on the hill at the Usine. The boiling water is 
pumped up into pipes at the top of these at a height of eighty feet, 
whence it falls in drops to a tank below, being then at a tempera- 
ture generally two degrees lower than that of the surrounding 

associations and societies. 

Scientific Association of Trinidad. 

This was founded in 1863, the object being the 'Cultivation of 
Scientific Knowledge in the West Indies.' From time to time 
able papers have been read bearing upon the Natural History and 
Products of the colony. A book of the proceedings of the Society 



during its earliest years is to be seen in the library, and it is a pity 
that the excellent practice of sending a copy of the Quarterly 
Magazine to the library has been discontinued. The Scientific 
Association has in its possession some interesting records of the 
proceedings of similar societies in far-away parts of the world, but 
which hold correspondence with the Trinidad one. 

Agricultural Society. 
This is a comparatively young body, the outcome of the old 
'Planters' Society.' Like the preceding one, the subscription is 
five dollars, and the main object, as suggested by the name, is to 
develop the great agricultural resources of the island, not only 
with reference to the staples, but also with the view of promoting 
the ' minor industries.' This is a most laudable end, for recent 
experience, fortunately not so much in Trinidad as in the sister 
colonies, has shown us pretty plainly the unwisdom of relying 
upon one product. His Excellency Sir William Robinson, the 
patron, has taken a lively personal interest in the affairs of this 
Society as tending to the welfare of the island. Meetings are held 
at the beginning of every quarter, members having the privilege 
of introducing visitors. Dr. de Verteuil is president, Mr. T. C. 
Pile, vice-president, and Mr. J. McCarthy, secretary. 

Philharmonic Union. 

This was started in 1884, the object being the culture of music 
and the encouragement of its development in this island. It has 
an excellent orchestra and chorus, who, with one or two excep- 
tions, are all amateurs. Port-of-Spain is exceptionally favoured 
with musical talent, for a town of its size. It is v no unusual 
occurrence to find operas and oratorios creditably rendered in their 
entirety without the omission of a single bar. Mackenzie's Jubilee 
Ode was given almost simultaneously with its first performance in 
the old country. The members practise weekly at their temporary 
hall in Brunswick Square (blue tram route), where concerts are 
frequently given. The want of a theatre or concert-hall is a great 


drawback, and the Union is endeavouring to remedy this by rais- 
ing funds for the erection of a suitable one. The present Governor, 
himself an accomplished musician, takes a warm interest in the 
Philharmonic Union. Mr. Damian, Mayor of Port-of-Spain, is 
president, Mr. Famiere and Eev. W. S. Doorly, musical directors, 
and Mr. J. Romero Sanson, secretary of the Society. 

The Daily Meal Society 
is managed by a committee of ladies of the Church of England, 
the object being to provide free dinners to poor people, irrespec- 
tive of creed. It supplies a meal daily on an average to nearly 
sixty persons, giving every Christmas a substantial dinner of good 
old English fare — the time-honoured roast beef and plum pudding 
— to about 130 people. 

Chamber of Commerce. 
This is an institution founded in 1878, consisting of bankers, 
merchants, manufacturers, and others (being principals) interested 
in the trade of the island, its object being the promotion of 
measures calculated to benefit and protect the trading interest of 
its members and the general trade of the colony. Its head- 
quarters is the News Room on the Wharf, the subscription is five 
dollars per annum, and its officers for 1888 are Mr. D. Campbell, 
president, Mr. W. Murray, vice-president, and Mr. W. Norman, 

Trinidad Auxiliary Bible Society. 
A branch of the British and Foreign Bible Society was estab- 
lished here half a century ago, in 1836, and it still carries on its 
work on the principles of the Parent Society, circulating the 
Scriptures mainly by sales, but in certain cases making grants. Its 
committee consists of the Protestant ministers of religion ex officio, 
and of lay members of their various churches. It is supported 
entirely by voluntary contributions, but has been liberally assisted 
from time to time by grants from the Parent Society in London. 
The depositories are at Messrs. Ford and Co.'s, Frederick Street, 


Port-of-Spain, and at Mr. J. C. Lewis's stationery establishment, 
San Fernando, where a large variety of Bibles and Testaments in 
the languages spoken in the island, including some of the Indian 
dialects, can be obtained. The president is Dr. Knaggs ; secretary, 
Mr. L. Inniss ; and treasurer, Mr. G. Goodwille. 

The Friendly Society 

is a benefit club in connection with the Church of England. Like 
the Auxiliary Bible Society, it possesses the merit of being one of 
the few long-standing organizations in Trinidad, having been in 
existence since 1850, and it happily shows no signs of decay. In 
a country where habits of thrift and economy are conspicuous by 
their absence, employers would do well to encourage those under 
them to take advantage of such an institution. Adult members 
pay a subscription of fifty cents monthly; and in return, during sick- 
ness, receive free medical attendance and medicines, with a weekly 
allowance of six shillings. Including juveniles and pensioners, 
this society numbers 240 members. 

Trinidad "Volunteer Corps. 

The headquarters of the corps are at the Drill Hall, Tragarete 
Eoad, on the red tram route. This building was erected at a 
cost of $5,168, and was formally opened by Sir A. E. Havelock, 
K.C.M.G., on September 8th, 1885. The annual rifle competitions, 
of which there have been eight, have from time to time brought 
some excellent shots to the front, one of the latest being Mr. 
Messervey, whose excellent shooting in 1886 on the local range 
would have attracted attention even at Wimbledon. 

The corps dates from 1879, when, on 3rd June, an ordinance 
was passed providing for the constitution of a Volunteer Force, 
and a few days after members were sworn in under Captain (now 
Major) Wilson. It at first consisted of only one company ; and, 
by the courtesy of Captain Baker, drill was carried on at the 
police-barracks parade-ground. The early difficulties, and naturally 
• these were not few, have been gradually overcome by the untiring 


zeal and determination of Major Wilson and the officers under 
him ; and the corps, now increased to three, companies, is possessed 
of an excellent drill-hall, armoury, etc., and, having obtained the 
services of a well-qualified sergeant-major, has made for itself a 
standing unrivalled by any other corps in the West Indies. A 
fourth company is in course of formation at San Fernando. 

The corps is steadily increasing, and returned, in 1887, 179 
efficients as against 165 of the previous year. On the occasions 
enumerated below, it has done good service to the colony : 

1. Carnival, 1884.— From the 24th to 28th February, 3 officers, 

44 sergeants, rank and file, encamped at St. Ann's, 
furnishing guards for Queen's House ; while 1 officer, 30 
sergeants, rank and file, garrisoned St. James' Barracks 
during the absence of the troops. 

2. Hosein Festival, 1884.— From 29th to 31st October, 3 

officers, 40 sergeants, rank and file, were stationed at the 
Police Barracks, Port-of-Spain. 

3. Carnival, 1885. — From 15th to 18th February, 3 officers, 

32 sergeants, rank and file, were stationed at the Police 
Barracks, San Fernando. 

4. Hosein Festival, 1885.— From 17th to 20th October, 3 

officers, 26 sergeants, rank and file, garrisoned the 

Military Barracks during the absence of the troops at 

St. Joseph and other parts of the island. 

For these services the corps has on each occasion received the 

thanks of the Government. Sergeant-Major Wood came to the 

corps with a very high recommendation from the Eoyal Scots 

Eegiment, to which he had previously belonged. The following 

are the officers : 

Major Wilson (in Command) (p). 

A Company. 
Capt. G. Grant (P.) 
„ H. L. O'Brien 

B Company. 
Lieut. C. B. Norman 

C Company. 
Capt. A. McGruer 
„ B,. Johnstone 

Surgeon — Dr. de Montbrun. 


Trinidad Eifle Association. 

This Association, which is affiliated with the National Eifle 
Association at home, was established on the 8th October, 1879, 
under the patronage of Sir Henry Turner Irving. At the com- 
mencement, about 40 life and 100 ordinary members were enrolled. 

The earliest competitions and practisings took place on the old 
military range at St. James. On the acquisition of the fine range 
at St. Clair from the War Department on nominal terms, a con- 
siderable sum of money was expended in laying it out, erecting 
butts, and building a convenient house for the members and their 

Sir Sanford Freeling, K.C.M.G., inaugurated St. Clair Eange in 
January, 1881, by firing the first shot. The range is delightfully 
situated in front of the Maraval Hills, and within a short distance of 
the Barracks. Certainly, if a lovely landscajie and the purest of 
fresh air can do anything towards the promotion of excellent shoot- 
ing; the members of the T.E. A. ought to be first-rate shots. They 
are not very far behind either in this respect, and can hold their own 
when occasion requires it. The geDial president, Captain Baker, 
has been the life and soul of the undertaking from its commence- 
ment, and, like a good all-round man as he is, can put on the 
bull's-eyes at 1,000 yards in prime style when he is in form. 

Shooting men from England — or, indeed, any part of the world 
— visiting this colony may be sure of a warm reception and the 
ready loan of a Martini-Henry if they show themselves on the 
range. Dr. Knaggs is the vice-president, and Mr. St. Hilaire the 
secretary of the Association. 

Valuable challenge cups and prizes have, from time to time, 
been given by Sir S. Freeling, K.C.M.G., His Excellency Sir 
William Eobinson, K.C.M.G, Honourables F. Warner and J. E. 
Tanner, Messrs. L. Agostini, C. Siegert, J. G. D'Ade, General 
Navarro, Captain Baker, Dr. Knaggs, Messrs. Wilson, Todd, and 

Being affiliated with the National Eifle Association at home, 


the N.R.A. Silver Medal, a much-coveted honour, is competed for 
at the annual meetings in Trinidad. The following winners of 
this medal for their respective years have thus qualified to shoot 
for H.R.H. the Prince of Wales's Cup at Wimbledon. No member 
can take the Trinidad medal twice until he has competed at 
Wimbledon for this cup. 


1880. Mr. St. Hilaire ... 

1881. Capt. A.W. Baker. 84 

1882. Mr. A. McGruer ... 87 

1883. Mr. J. H. Collens... 87 

1884. Mr. D.Mackenzie... 79 


1885. Mr. J. A. Bulmer. . . 83 (Mr. J. H. Collens made 87.) 
lS86.*Mr. J. A. Buhner... 88 (Capt. A.W. Baker made 89.) 
1887. Serg.-Major Norton 88 (Capt. J. H. Collens made 88.) 


These are a strong body in Trinidad. The oldest Lodge in the 
island is the ' United Brothers,' founded in 1795 sls-Lcs Frtores Vhis 
by Mr. Benois Dert, the bearer of a Charter from the Grand Lodge 
of France. In consequence of the Revolution causing the sus- 
pension of the French Grand Lodge, the members of Les Frbres Unis 
applied to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania for a Charter. This 
was granted in 1797, and it stood as No. 77 on the American 

In the year 1803 the Temple was erected on Mount Moriah, 
Port-of-Spain. In 1813, after the rupture between Great Britain 
and the United' States, the Brethren petitioned the Grand Lodge 
of Scotland to take them under their protection and grant them a 
Charter. Their petition being acceded to, the Lodge was added 
to the Scotch Roll as No. 323; but, subsequently, on the re- 

* Messrs. St. Hilaire and J. A. Bulmer competed at Wimbledon in 
1886, and thus became eligible again for the medal. 



adjustment of this roll, Les Frhres Unis, No. 323, became the 
United Brothers, No. 251. 

The following table will show the Lodges and Chapters 
working : 



United Brothers... 

Eastern Star 




llosslyn ... 




Royal Phcenix ... 


,, P. of Wales 


„ Trinity ... 



I Grand Dodge 

j Scotland. 

j Grand Lodge 



Days of Meeting. 








1 lst&3rdThurs 
j 1st Friday ... 
f2nd Monday ... 
j 3rd Thursday... 
[1st & 3rd Mon. 
1 1st Friday ... 

Royal Arch Chapters. 

{Sup. Grondi"! 2nd Wednesday 
Royal Arch \y 
Chap, of Scot. | J 1st Tuesday 

Place of Meeting. 

Mt. Moriah, Pt.-of- Spain. 

San Fernando. 

Mt. Moriah, Pt.-of-Spain. 

Oxford St., Pt.-of-Spain. 

Edw'rd St., Pt.-of- Spain. 
San Fernando. 

Mt. Moriah,Pt.-of-Spain. 

San Fernando. 

Mt. Moriah, Pt.-of-Spain. 

Rose Croix Chapter. 

,1 J Sup. Council! Constitutional 
1 1 of Scotland. | Days. 


| C Sup. Councill Constitutional 
| \ of Scotland. I Days. 

IMt. Moriah, 
I Spain. 

IMt. Moriah, 
i Spain. 



Independent Order of Good Templars. 

This organization, which has the credit of being the pioneer of 
temperance work in this colony, is in a fairly strong and active 
condition, having been in existence upwards of fourteen years. 
The substantial concrete-built hall in which most of the meetings 
are held was erected partly by general subscriptions and partly 
by debentures taken up chiefly within the limits of the Order. It 
is situated in Richmond Street, almost facing Duke Street, and is 
therefore near the red tram route. The District Lodge of Trinidad 
meets quarterly, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of 
England, the present head of the Order being Mr. S. dos Santos ; 
secretary, Mr. J. "Wilkinson. There is also a flourishing juvenile 
branch. The Lodges are : 



Trinidad ... ... No. 1 

Excelsior, ... ... ,, 2 

Reunion (San Fernando), ,, 3 
Prince of Wales, ... ,, 4 

Victory, ... ... ,,12 

Lothians (chiefly Military) „ 13 
Princes' Town, ... „ 14 

Reform (Juvenile), ... „ 1 
Onward and Upward (Juv.) „ 2 
Lifeboat, „ „ 3 

Iere Degree Temple, . . . 

... Thursday, 7 p.m. 
... Monday, 7 „ 

... Wednesday, 7 „ 
... Tuesday, 7 „ 
... Saturday, 7 „ 
... Thursdaj', 7 „ 
... Tuesday, 4 „ 
... Monday, 4 „ 
... Friday, 4 „ 
. . . 2nd and 4th Fridays 
in month, 7 p.m. 

Within the last few years the temperance movement has made 
considerable progress in Port-of-Spain. A Blue Eibbon Society 
has been inaugurated under the auspices of the Baptist Church, 
Bands of Hope amongst the Wesleyan Methodists and Presby- 
terians, and the Roman Catholics, not to be behind, have a branch 
of the League of the Cross, meeting at the St. Thomas School- 
room in Park Street. These Societies had need multiply and 
prosper, there is ample scope for their energies. In 1860, Port- 
of-Spain, with a population of 18,980, had only five rum-shops ; 
in the year of grace, 1886, with less than double the population, 
we had eight times the number of rum-shops. Unfortunately the 
magisterial licensing power is at present practically uncontrolled. 

Trinidad Purity Alliance. 

An association started in 1886 to promote individual and social 
purity. Reference has already been made in these pages to the 
gross immorality prevailing in Trinidad. The fact alone that 
nearly three-fourths (72.6 per cent.) of the whole number of 
registered births in 1 887 were those of illegitimate children, speaks 
volumes, as showing the necessity of an organization of this kind. 
The number of marriages in 1887 was an improvement on the 
previous year, being 649 against 594, which leads one to hope that 


a change has set in for the better. For several years previous to 
1887 the number of marriages had been gradually decreasing. 
Though meeting at Grey Friars Presbyterian Church in Bruns- 
wick Square, where the Society was founded, it is open to and 
consists of members of various denominations. The chairman is 
the Eight Eev. Bishop Eawle; secretary, Mr. L. Inniss; and 
treasurer, Mr. W. Kell. 



Under this head it is proposed to notice briefly one or two in- 
stitutions which were omitted in the foregoing chapters. To these 
are added a few notes which may be of interest. 

The Cemetery, Port-of-Spain. 

The cemetery, sometimes called Lapeyrouse, is to the west of 
the town, near the Tragarete Eoad, on the red tram route. It 
covers about twenty acres of ground, part of it being on what was 
formerly a coffee estate, the property of Mr. Dert, and the 
remainder on a sugar estate belonging to M. de Lapeyrouse. It 
is pleasantly located, with the hills in the background, and the 
harbour on the other side, and, being to the leeward of the town, 
any noxious gases which might arise are carried away from it. 
The principal entrance faces Park Street, and the central road 
from it across the cemetery due west, is planted on either side 
with samans and palms (Palma Real), which form a picturesque 
avenue. Formerly the dead were buried in any part, irrespective 
of their religion, but now Protestants are interred to the right of 
this road, while the left is devoted to the Eoman Catholic portion 
of the community. The more recent portion of it was opened on 
the 22nd April, 1824, being consecrated according to the Anglican 
form by the Ven. Archdeacon Cummins, and immediately after- 


wards, in accordance with Eoman Catholic rites, by the Eight 
Rev. Lord Bishop of Gerren. 

Apart from those who are bound by the sacred ties of affliction 
to this somewhat sad spot, there are always some who derive a 
kind of melancholy pleasure from groping amongst the tombs, 

' Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap ;' 

and though there is little in the way of ' storied urn or animated 
bust,' it may not be amiss to point out the most worthy objects 
for notice. 

A local Venezuelan artist, Senor Palacios, has several pieces 
of sculpture here, notably line Pleureuse, Chief, a statue of the 
Virgin, a bust of the late Dr. J. G. B. Siegert, and a brass 
medallion of the late Mr. Fritz Urich. The chapel vaults of the 
Montbrun, Tinoco, Huerne, and DAbadie families are good 
features, especially the first named, which is beautifully finished. 
The mausoleum of the late Mr. Carlos Robertson was built in 
1887 at a cost of $4,000. A cluster of graves in the enclosure to 
the south of the main entrance tells a sad tale of the ravages of 
an epidemic amongst the nuns of St. Joseph. Of the solid and 
neat granite obelisks, those in memory of the late Mr. Gregor 
Turnbull and Mr. I). L. Todd attract attention. On All Souls' 
Eve all classes of the Roman Catholic community, and even many 
of the Protestants, illuminate the graves of their deceased re- 
latives and friends with candles, presenting a most remarkable 
spectacle to the unaccustomed English eye. On these occasions 
prayers for the dead are offered, and hymns sung. 

Mr. Gustave Borde, the cemetery-keeper, is well known as the 
author of a valuable and interesting work, ' Histoire de la Trinidad 
sous le Gouvernement Espagnol.' 

The Wash-house, 

near the Colonial Hospital, on the blue tram route, is a Govern- 
ment institution provided to enable the poor to do laundry work 
conveniently, which some of them could scarcely do in their 


miserable shanties and yards. It has 137 washing-troughs, with 
ample drying and bleaching ground. Tuesday, "Wednesday, and 
Thursday are the aristocratic days, on which the charge is ten 
cents per diem, on other days (Sundays, of course, excepted) the 
fee is five cents. On an average, about 1,700 persons use the 
wash-house in the course of a month. 

The Public Baths 
are on the wash-house grounds. There are two large plunge- 
baths, one for males, and the other intended for females, the 
charge being one penny. As the ladies of Port-of-Spain do not 
take advantage of this opportunity of abluting, their bath is 
handed over for the use of the males, sixpence being charged for 
the privilege. Practically, therefore, there may be said to be first 
and second class baths. In addition to these, there are two small 
individual baths, for which one shilling is charged. 


Local journals are not greatly patronized — at least, so the 
editors say. Perhaps the fault is theirs. At any rate, we hear 
continually of fresh papers being started with a great flourish of 
trumpets, which, after a brief and sometimes rather inglorious 
existence, are buried with their ancestors. There is no doubt in 
this matter we are somewhat behind the age. We have not yet 
got the length of a daily paper, while Demerara, our sister colony, 
has two. Our editors complain, as I have intimated, of want of 
support. Might I suggest to them to lower their prices and issue 
more often? The first local newspaper was started in 1799, 
under the title of The Trinidad Weekly Courant. Now we have : 

Port-of-Spain Gazette ...Wednesday and Saturday. Price 12 cents 

PuMic Opinion Tuesday and Friday „ 6 „ 

New Era Friday „ 20 „ 

San Fernando Gazette .. .Saturday ,, 16 „ 

Boyal Gazette (Official) Wednesday „ 12 „ 


An Official Almanac and Register (price . 4s. 2d.) is published 
annually by Mr. R. J. L. Guppy, Inspector of Schools, containing 
much valuable local information. A useful Sheet Almanac (price 
2s. Id.) is also published yearly by Mr. J. Lewis, proprietor of 
the New Era. For the use of merchants and others, mortgages, 
actions, and the latest telegrams appear daily in small sheets from 
two offices : The Daily Bulletin (Port-of-Spain Gazette office) — price, 
6 cents ; The Daily Commercial Budget (Public Opinion office) — 
price, 6 cents. 

The Trams. 

On the La Basse, near the railway-station, are large mule stables 
and standing room for about eighty animals. These are the 
property of the Trinidad Tramways Company, Limited, which 
has been in operation nearly three years. From the first this 
undertaking has been a popular one, paying a steady dividend of 
10 per cent, on the paid-up capital of $124,000, and there is every 
probability of it continuing to be a financial success. There are 
two routes, both commencing near the railway-station on the 
Queen's Wharf. One, the red tram, proceeds in a north-westerly 
direction to the top of Tranquillity Boulevard, near the corner of 
the Queen's Park, a distance of 1£ miles. The other, the blue 
tram, passes the principal stores along Frederick Street, diverging 
into Park Street, and thence into St. Ann's Road, the terminus 
being quite adjacent to Government House and the Botanical 
Gardens. The fare for either journey is six cents, but tickets 
may be purchased at the rate of sixty cents per dozen. The 
trams run regularly every twenty minutes, with extra ones occasion- 
ally at intervals. 

Principal places in order on or near the red tram route, between the 
railway-station and Tranquillity. 

Harbour Master's Office, News Room and Telegraph Office. 
Swedish and Norwegian Consulates. 
Queen's Wharf and Custom House. 


German Consulates. 

Bonding Warehouse. 

Colonial Bank. 

Ice House and Family Hotel. 

Boyal Mail Agency, Spanish and Italian Consulates. 

Surgeon-General's Office, etc. 

General Post-Office. 

Trinidad Hotel. 

American Consulate. 

Police Barracks and Magistrates' Court. 

Town Hall and Municipal Offices. 

Judicial Courts and Chambers. 

Government Buildings. 

"Western Market. 

Wesleyan Chapel. 

Government Printing Office. 

The Cemetery. 

Wesleyan Iron Chapel. 

The Model Schools. 

German Club. 

Volunteer Drill Hall. 

Cipriani Boulevard. 

All Saints' Church. 

Queen's Park. 

Principal places in order on or near the blue tram route, letween the 
railway-station and Belmont Circular Road. 

Almond Walk. 

The Fountain, Marine Square. 

Roman Catholic Cathedral. 

Hotel de Paris. 

French and Dutch Consulates. 

Frederick Street. 

U.S. of Columbia and Danish Consulates. 


Holy Trinity Cathedral. 

Brunswick Square. 

Philharmonic Hall. 

Grey Friars' Presbyterian Church and Hall. 

St. John's Church (Baptist). 

Rosary Chapel and School. 

Brazilian and Portuguese Consulates. 

Venezuelan Consulate. 

Chapel of the College of the Immaculate Conception. 

St. Ann's Church (Free Church of Scotland). 

"Wash-house and Public Baths. 

Colonial Hospital. 

Government Laboratory. 

Prince's Building and Queen's Eoyal College. 

Bolivar College. 

Queen's Park. 

Foreign Consuls, Trinidad. 



Country. BanTc. 

Date of 

. Appointment. 

Aug. 20, 1855 

Fred. Jno. Scott . 

. Spain Consul 

Dr. de Montbrtin. 

. Brazil ... ... Vice-Consul 

June, 1868 


Portugal do. 

Dec. 8, 1869 

Fred. Jno. Scott . 

.Italy... Consul, with jurisdiction 

over the Lesser Antilles 

,, 6, 1875 

In. F. Ambard . 

.Netherlands... ...Consul 

Mar. 3, 1884 

Isaac H. Pereira . 

. U. S. of Columbia ... do 

June 29, 1885 

Hugo Hoffmann . . 

. German Empire ... do 

Mar. 28, ,, 

Cn. Schemer 

. Sweden and Norway do 

,, 12, 1886 

Carl Bock 

. Denmark do 

June 8, „ 

Moses H. Sawyer. 

. U.S. of America ... do 

July 2, „ 

J. P. Pollonais . 

.France Acting Consular Agent... 

July 10, „ 

Fed. FortiquiS 

. U.S. Venezuela ...Consul 

Sept. 8, „ 

Thos. M. Field .. 

. U. S. of America ... Vice-Consul 

Oct. 19, ,, 

Aug. Holler 

. Austro - Hungarian 

Empire Consul 

Jan. 9, 1888 



It has already been stated that sugar is undoubtedly the staple of 
this colony. That its production may have been for some time a 



losing game to the unfortunate proprietors does not in the slightest 
degree alter this fact. Whether the result be profit or loss, the 
owner holds out as long as he can, always hoping the tide will 
turn. A large labouring class is thus kept in constant employment, 
and hence the depression is not felt so deeply as it otherwise 
would be. 

Next in importance ranks cacao, which, requiring neither the 
plant nor the labour of sugar, has attracted much attention 
of late years. Moreover, the prices for some time have been 
most favourable, and this has doubtless helped Trinidad materially 
during the crisis. Chocolate a la Menier is now being manu- 
factured in the colony, and it seems likely to develop. The 
Trinidad Chocolate Company, Limited, under the management of 
Mr. Schaeffer, a German resident, is turning out a very good 

The cultivation of the coconut palm is largely on the increase, 
and we proved in the Colonial and Indian Exhibition that we can 
turn out oil which will bear comparison with any that could be 
imported. So far, the fibre produced is chiefly applied to mattress- 
making, but I feel sure that much is to be done in the way of 
mats, brushes, etc. Hor are stock-keepers fully alive to the 
nutritive qualities of the oilmeal, or there would be a greater 
demand for this commodity. 

Pew people at home are aware that Siegert's Angostura Bitters 
hail from Trinidad. They take their name from Angostura, now 
called Ciudad Bolivar, where they were first made. Being a total 
abstainer, I have never had the pleasure of tasting them, but I 
of course mention them, since they play an important part in the 
commerce of the country. 

Of other industries we have the manufacture of rum, ice, leather, 
soap, cigars, matches, etc. A considerable quantity of asphalt is 
exported annually. Experiments are being made in the cultiva- 
tion of pistachio-nuts, limes, tobacco and Eamie grass — the latter 
for fibre. 

The "West Indian Ice and Eefrigerating Company, Limited, was 


started on May 11, 1886. Apparently there is a ready market for 
all that can be manufactured, and it seems likely to pay a good 
dividend. Ice in the tropics is rot a luxury, it is a positive 
necessary. Only a few years ago it was threepence per pound ; 
now, thanks to the competition which has opportunely stepped in, 
it can be bought in all parts of the town for one cent per pound ! 
Some large blocks of ice from this factory, chemically coloured, 
were exhibited at the last local exhibition, where they attracted 
much attention. 

For several of the following facts relating to trade I am indebted 
to an interesting Council Paper compiled early in 1886 by Mr. 
H. J. Clark, F.S.S. 

Notwithstanding the low prices of sugar for some years past, the 
trade of the colony has increased in value in the course of the last 
ten years from a little over two and a half millions in 1876 to 
nearly three and a half millions in 1884. In the following year 
(1885) there was indeed a slight falling oif, caused by the general 
depression, but the next year (1886) showed an improvement. 

Mr. Clark's statistics bring out the striking fact that our trade 
with the mother country is declining, while on the other hand it is 
on the increase with foreign countries. This appears to be due to 
the diversion of our export trade from the old channels, the United 
States off ering'in, recent years a more remunerative market for our 
sugar, and' the French colonies for our molasses, than can be found 
in the mother country or in British North America. Our trade 
with Martinique has, however, received a temporary check, as the 
authorities of that colony have thought fit to impose a prohibitive 

There can be no possible doubt that the increase would have 
been much more marked had it not been for. the miserable price 
of the staple. In 1877 there were 45,854 tons of sugar shipped, 
representing a value of £924,417. In 1885, eight years later, 
we find 63,679 tons shipped, but of a value only of £684,675. 
In round numbers, notwithstanding an increase of 30 per cent, in 
quantity, there is a loss of 30 per cent, in value. 



Dr. de Verteuil mentions the curious fact that in 1713 the whole 
trade of the island was carried on by a single vessel of 150 tons ; 
a little cacao and indigo being bartered for coarse cloth and other 

Various new enterprises are constantly springing into existence, 
with more or less promise. Amongst the most recent may be 
enumerated the 

Ramie Fibre Company (chairman, Mr. C. Boos). 

Messrs. J. H. Archer's Match Factory. 

Steam Laundry Company (projected by Mr. J. Meston). 

Trinidad Patent Slip Company (Mr. H. J. Cadiz, projector). 

Erin Lime and Cacao Plantation Company (chairman, Mr. C. 

Carriage Building Factory of Mr. L. Court. 

Jubilee Syndicate Gold Mining Company (registered in Demerara). 

The Choco Gold Mining Company, which carries on its opera- 
tions in Venezuela, is considered by the knowing ones to be a 
good spec. 

As the gulf is exceedingly shallow, all goods exported or im- 
ported have to be put on board or landed by lighters or flats, 
while the larger vessels lie out far or near, according to the depth 
of the water they draw. A scheme has been introduced by Mr. 
Raymond Warner, and is now under consideration, to construct an 
extensive pier, which will enable steamers and other large vessels 
to discharge their cargoes alongside. Having a tram-line from the 
extremity, connecting it with the railway, this would appear to be 
a most desirable project. 

Some important information was elicited, in 1886, by the Trades 
and Taxes Commission, under the able leadership of Sir John 
Gorrie, Chief Justice. Though the report issued did not meet with 
the unanimous approval of the community, it nevertheless con- 
tained some valuable suggestions, one of which, at least, the abolition 
of duties on live stock, has already been put into effect. 

The wharf is the natural entrep6t for commerce, and hence the 
leading shipping firms — Messrs. Turnbull, Stewart and Co.; 



A. Camming and Co.; Messrs. Gordon, Grant and Co.; Clairmonte 
and Co., and the Colonial Co. — have their offices in the immediate 
neighbourhood. The Ice Dep6t, too, of Messrs. C. L. Haley and 
Co., to whom we have for many years been indebted for our 'ice 
luxuries,' is an important unit, and should not be omitted. 

1856, 1866, 1876, 1886. 










1 «3 

a h 






55 H 

-a - 






3 ^ 

Value of Imports 






(Bullion and Specie not 



■ h 

Value of Exports 

(BuUion and Specie not 







Sugar, lbs. 






Molasses, gals. ... 





Rum, gals. 





Cacao, lbs. 






Coffee, lbs. 



' 42,846 


0. M 

Asphalt, tons ... 






Coconuts, no. ... 





Bitters, gals. ... 






«> . 



: £84,484 

O . 







No. of Depositors 

1» M 





Amount in De- 

U '"Z 


posit at end of 


year ... 

£; p* 






































Estimated Population in 1888 : 185,000. 

The population at the present time may be roughly estimated at 
about 180,000. The foregoing statistics are not only interesting in 
themselves, but highly satisfactory, inasmuch as they indicate 
plainly that the career of the colony for the past half-century has 
been a steadily progressive one. 

Our present Governor, Sir William Robinson, is always well to 
the fore in instigating and promoting beneficial measures. Prompt 
to act, as he is quick to conceive, his energy and goodwill are on 
a par. Fully alive to the importance of sugar and cacao, the 'sub- 
sidiary ' industries have also in him a true friend ; while the 
numerous commissions and committees that have been appointed 
by him evince a determination on his part to sift doubtful matters 
to the very bottom, and a desire to deal fairly by ail, which is 
beyond praise. 

The words with which Messrs. Wall and Sawkins, the eminent 
geologists, concluded their report, apply, with very little modifica- 
tion, just as accurately now as when they were written some twenty 
years ago : 

' Trinidad possesses in abundance the natural -conditions necessary 
for the development of a rich and productive agriculture, and also 
several of those mineral resources which in the present age so 
greatly contribute to the comforts and conveniences of life. Great 
and important as these advantages may be, they are immensely 
enhanced by the circumstance of geographical position. Situated 
at the portals of a grand system of internal navigation, and main- 
taining intimate relations with the chief manufacturing states, this 
island seems destined to become the seat of a most extended com- 
merce with the vast and fertile regions so near her own shores, 
and so accessible from her ports.' 


Trinidad may be considered to have fairly weathered the storm 
of depression which has proved so disastrous to some of the sugar 
colonies. It is true that we are not quite out of the wood, but 
fortunately we have not by any means run the length of our 
tether — we are far from having exhausted our resources. With 
thousands of acres of rich virgin soil, waiting for the plough and 
the hoe of the husbandman, all that we want is abundant capital, 
cheap labour, roads and railways to every corner of the island, 
Given these, he must be a pessimist indeed who will dare to assert 
that the star of Trinidad is on the wane. 



The discovery of some interesting Indian relics at Erin during the 
past month (May, 1888), is, although I had brought my work to 
an end, of sufficient importance to demand a brief notice. Gn the 
occasion of a recent visit of his Excellency Sir W. Robinson and 
suite to the southern quarter of the island, the Hon. H. Fowler, 
who was one of the party, observed a mound of shells. Dis- 
mounting, a closer inspection revealed some pieces of rude pottery, 
and subsequent excavations by Mr. A. Newsam, the Warden, led 
to the unearthing of some capital specimens, indicating beyond a 
doubt this had been the centre, at some period more or less remote, 
of an Indian settlement. 

The pottery is of two kinds, glazed and unglazed, the latter 
dating back to a time anterior to the discovery of the New World, 
for the art of glazing was unknown to the early Indians, nor is it 
likely that they became acquainted with it till after the Spanish 

Mr. Fowler has very kindly placed at my disposal Plate L, and 
I gladly publish it in my Guide, as it may be of assistance in 
future investigations in Trinidad. I may add that Mr. Fowler 
himself collected in Honduras the objects depicted in Plate I., and 
they indeed form the groundwork of a paper read before the 
Archaeological Society in London by General Sir H. Lefroy, E.A., 
F.R.S., on the 3rd of May, 1888. 

r\tX I lyuillLJ I rwjiTi nunuu 


Real Size 


Figs. 1 & 6 about l-20 l .H the natural s.ze. 
» 2-5 .. |-3 r . d ,. 




Figs. 1 and 2. — Blue flint spear-heads, beautifully formed, with 
shanks 2 to 2£ inches long, for attachment to the handle. These 
spear-heads are evidently not formed by slow and laborious 
chipping, but by a few masterly blows. 

Figs. 3, 4, and 5. — Scrapers or spears slightly differing from 
the last, and shaped out of a yellowish-coloured flint resembling 

Figs. 6 and 7. — Smaller arrow or spear heads, with transverse 
shanks. They are of a material approaching agate. 

Fig. 8. — A perfect vase of coarse red clay, perforated at the 
base, probably for incense-burning. The plaque — a human face 
with agonized expression — is a characteristic of Mexican and 
Central American art. 

Fig. 9. — A small idol, which acts as a whistle. Perhaps a 
child's toy. 

Fig. 10. Stones weighing from \ oz. to If oz., deeply grooved 
at both ends. Probably used in weaving. 



Fig. 1. — A hollow stone, smooth in the concave part, forming 
a rude mortar. The Indians used a hard smooth pebble for 
pounding their seeds and grains. 

Figs. 2, 3, and 4. — Heads of animals in. burnt clay, more or 
less grotesquely shaped. The eyes and mouth are often exag- 
gerated, a few broad, bold lines serving to bring out the most 
striking features. In Fig. 4 the head of the monkey is fantastically 
crowned. All these were probably either deities or ornamental 
attachments to earthern vessels. 

Fig. 5. — A well-shaped squirrel. Perhaps a toy whistle. 

Fig. 6. — An earthen bowl in fine preservation, about the size 


of an ordinary vegetable dish. With the lid, which is unfor- 
tunately missing, there would doubtless be a good representation 
of a turtle ; as it is, the head and tail are clearly, and the limbs 
somewhat clumsily, shown. 

Figs. 7 and 8. — Stone celts or axe-heads made from the hard 
volcanic stone known as jade. As this is not found either in 
Trinidad or Venezuela, the natives must have obtained it by 
bartering their commodities for those of the Indians on the more 
distant parts of the American continent, fig. 7 is the Trinidad 
celt, Fig. 8 being the Honduras one ; bat it is shown side by side 
with the local one in order that a curious difference between them 
may be noticed. The Trinidad one invariably appears to have 
one of its edges more worn away than the other, that of Honduras 
being quite uniform. 



Port-of -Spai n dep. 

San Juan. 1 . 

St. Joseph 




9 Dabadie 

.Arima arr. 

Caroni dep. 






Claxton Bay 


Marbella Junction... 


§-{ Williamsville 

[Princestown arr. 

Sail Fernando „ 


7 10 
7 25 
7 34 

7 47 

7 59 

8 13 
8 24 

- 8 38 
. 8 45 

8 57 

9 7 
9 15 
9 24 
9 48 

10 8 
9 18 

8 30 
8 44 
8 52 

8 59 

9 5 
9 11 
9 19 
9 25 


11 10 
11 25 
11 34 

11 47 

11 59 

12 13 
12 24 
12 38 
12 45 
12 57 

1 6 

1 15 

*1 24 

1 48 

2 20 
1 18 



4 15 
4 24 









6 5 

6 14 

6 52 

7 24 
6 8 


6 14 


San Fernando dep. 


§4 Williamsville 


Marbella Junction... 

Princestown arr. 


Claxton Bay dep. 







6 /"Arima 





St. Joseph 

San Juan 

Port- of Spain .. . . . . ... arr. 

9 15 
10 8 

|7 34 
7 43 
7 55 

7 6 
6 16 

6 36 

7 9 

7 14 

7 29 
7 41 

7 48 

8 2 
8 13 
8 28 
8 39 

J8 52 
9 1 
9 13 


1 5 

1 15 

2 20 



11 15 

11 21 

11 27 

til 34 

11 43 

11 55 

11 6 
10 16 

10 36 

11 9 

11 29 
11 41 

11 48 

12 2 
12 13 
12 28 
12 39 


12 52 
1 1 
1 13 


5 57 

6 5 

7 24 

3 50 

3 57 

4 5 
4 11 
4 17 

|4 24 
4 33 
4 45 


3 55 

2 45 

3 15 
3 35 
3 58 

J5 41 

5 50 

6 3 

* These trains do not run on Sundays. 

t Passengers from the Arima Line for the San Fernando Line change at St. Joseph. 
% Passengers from the San Fernando Line for the Arima Line change at St. Joseph. 
§ Passengers to or from these stations and any other stations (except San Fernando) 
must change at Marbella Junction. 




Time Table, Steamer 'Ant.' 



.Monos at 6 

...Gasparee „ 

. ..Carreras „ 

...Five Islands „ 

...Carenage ,, 

...Port-of-Spain „ 

...Port-of-Spain „ 

...Carenage „ 

...Five Islands „ 

...Carreras „ 

...Gasparee „ 

...Monos „ 












...Port-of-Spain at 8 
...Carenage „ 9 

. . .Five Islands 
. . .Monos 

... Monos 
. .Five Islands 


„ 9.30 „ 


,,10.15 „ 

■■ 11 

„ 3 P.M. 

■■ 3.45 „ 

» * 

» 4.30 „ 

., 5.. „ 

Arrive... Port-of-Spain „ 6 


Leave ...Port-of-Spain at 3 p.m. 


...Five Islands 

.Monos a 

..Five Islands 
...Five Islands 
„ ...Gasparee 
„ ... Carreras 

„ ...Five Islands 

, Carenage 

Arrive ...Port-of -Spain 


Arrive . 

Arrive . 



















Fares to and from Port-of-Spain. 





Carenage ... 

... 48 e. 

72 c. 

Five Islands 

... 48 o. 

72 c. 


... 72 o. 

SI 08 c. 


... 96 o. 

1 44 c. 



24 c. 

36 c. 

24 c. 

36 c. 

36 c. 

54 c. 

48 c. 

72 c. 

Return Tickets available on day of issue only, or if issued on Friday or 
Saturday, till Monday. 








Monday. — Leave Port-of-Spain at 7 a.m. for 
Cedros, calling at San Fernando, Oropouche, 
Capdeville and Jrois, returning the same 
day as far as San Fernando. 

Tuesday. — Leave San Fernando for Port-of- 
Spain at 7.30 a.m. Leave Port-of-Spain for 
San Fernando at 4 p.m. 

Wednesday. — Leave San Fernando at 7 a.m. 
for Cedros, calling at intermediate stations, 
and remaining at Cedros four hours, and 
then returning to Port-of-Spain, calling at 
all stations. 

Saturday. — Leave Port-of-Spain at 7 a.m. 
for Cedros, returning same day, calling at 
all stations. 

Children in arms, free ; under 12 years of 
age, half-price. 

Return Tickets to and from stations north 
of and including La Brea, available on day 
of issue only, or if issued on Friday or 
Saturday, till following Monday ; to and from 
stations south of La Brea, available for seven 

Parcels and Light Goods will be conveyed 
according to the following Regulations : 

Parcels ... ... ... 10 cts. 

Hampers ... ... ■•• 15 ,, 

Boxes (2 cubic feet) ... 



Half -Barrels 
[Non-enumerated Packages in proportion.) 

Passengers' Luggage not exceeding 4 cubic 
feet in measurement, free; all in excess, and 
articles of Furniture, etc., liable to being 
charged as per tariff. Freights according to 
the above will be payable on the Goods or 
Packages being put on board the Steamer. 

All Goods, Parcels, or Packages to betaken 
from on board immediately on the Steamer's 
arrival at any point of debarkation, and if not 
so taken will be landed on the jetties or land- 
ing-places at the risk of the Shippers. 




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By Distance. 
For any distance not exceeding one mile ... 
For every quarter of a mile beyond 

(Between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.,tbe charges are half as much more.) 

By Time. 

For any time not exceeding one hour 

For every subsequent fifteen minutes 

Between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., the charge is 4s. for the first hour, and Is. 
for every subsequent fifteen minutes. 

Two persons may be carried on the above terms, but "when more than 
two are carried, a sum of 6d. for each person above the number of 
two must be paid for the whole hiring in addition to the above 
fares. Two children under ten count as one adult. 

A driver is bound, under penalty, to keep any engagement he may make. 

Cab Fares from Marine Square. 
To Government Buildings 

„ Rosary Chapel 

,, Royal Gaol 

„ Colonial Hospital ... 

, , Queen's Park — South 

,, Prince's Building ... 

, , Belmont Orphanage 

„ All Saints, New Town 

„ House of Refuge 

,, Queen's Park — North-west corner 

,, Tranquillity Square... 

,, Government House, St. Ann's 

,, Lunatic Asylum 

,, St. Clair Rifle Range 

,, St. James' Barracks 

,, Roman Catholic Church, St. Ann's 

,, Leper Asylum 
Round Circular and back 






































San Juan (market) ... 



. 18 

San Juan's Village ... 



. 40 

St. Joseph (foot of hill) 



. 22 

St. Joseph's River ... 



. 42 

Tacarigua River 


San Fernando via Conupia . 

. 40 

Arouca Police Station 


Santa Crcz 

Police Station . 


Arouca River 


Diego Martin Four Roads . 


Arima Police Station 

. 16 


Village, about 


Chaguanas (by high-road) . 




Carapichaima Ship'g-place c 

o. 27* 

L' Anee Pouchette 


Couva Police Station 




Claxton Bay ... 

. 36| 

Hart's Cut 

. 104 

Guaracara Bridge ... 

. 40i 

Chaguaramas Bay 

. iii 

The above distances are reckoned from the boundaries of, not from any 
fixed point within, Port-of -Spain. 




Intending Visitors to Europe and Shippers of Cocoa and other Produce. 

THE UNDERSIGNED begs to call the particular attention of the Public to 
the following NEAV TIME TABLE of the Compaonie Generale 
Transatlantiqtje, sanctioned by the French Government, and which has 
taken effect since August last. 



















Le Havre 




Bordeaux-Pauillac . . 









Porto Cabello 






La Guayra 


















Fort-de-France .. 















La Guayra 






Porto Cabello 









Bordeaux-Pauillac .. 





Le Havre 

































Fort-de-France ... 


For further particulars, apply to 
No. 1, Almond "Walk, Port-of-Spain. 



Elliot Stock, Paternoster How, London. 


no. 12, frederick street, 

*- -"- rffr -»*■ -"i rftt rf»*- -**- -*», -**• -**- -**- -**- -*^ -**- A^ -**- -**- -**- ■"- -**- J *- -** 

Importation of General Household Articles, as: 


gable, ganging, & gfWZ gamps. 

Enamelled, Tinned, and Galvanized Kitchen Utensils. 


Etilfe-Bpame MiPP©P&. 



^Titles and iVialts. 


E. BORBERG, Proprietor. 


This book is a preservation photocopy. 

It is made in compliance with copyright law 

and produced on acid-free archival 

60# book weight paper 

which meets the requirements of 

ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992 (permanence of paper) 

Preservation photocopying and binding 


Acme Bookbinding 

Charlestown, Massachusetts